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J Am Acad Dermatol. 1992 Dec;27(6 Pt 1):979-82.

Photodynamic therapy in the treatment of Bowen's disease.

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Department of Dermatology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY 14263.



The treatment of Bowen's disease in anatomically difficult areas or especially large lesions can challenge accepted modalities of treatment.


The purpose of this study was to illustrate the effectiveness of photodynamic therapy in the treatment of Bowen's disease. In addition, photodynamic therapy may be used as adjuvant therapy for difficult lesions.


Six patients with Bowen's disease in various anatomic sites were treated with photodynamic therapy. Four were in a difficult anatomic site, or were especially large, or both. Photofrin, 1.0 mg/kg, was administered intravenously and laser treatment was given approximately 48 hours later with the argon dye laser. Light was administered at a wavelength of 630 nm and the light dose ranged from 185 to 250 joules/cm2. Treatment was given by surface radiation only.


Eight lesions were treated. All showed a complete response at 3 months (100%) and continue to show a complete response at 6 and 12 months. Morbidity was low; the most significant side effects were moderate pain and edema. Healing time varied depending on the size of the lesion.


Photodynamic therapy is an effective and useful alternative for Bowen's disease, especially those lesions in anatomically difficult areas or those that are especially large.

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