Effective blue light photodynamic therapy does not affect cutaneous langerhans cell number or oxidatively damage DNA.
BACKGROUND: Photodynamic therapy (PDT) using aminolevulinic acid (ALA) with blue light or red light is effective for treating actinic keratoses (AKs). However, immunosuppression follows red light PDT, raising the spectre of skin cancer promotion in treated skin. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether broad-area short incubation (BASI)-ALA-PDT using blue light immunosuppression immunosuppresses treated skin. METHODS: Patients were evaluated clinically and by standardized facial biopsies of non-AK skin before, 24 hours and 1 month after customary blue light BASI-ALA-PDT. All biopsies were stained for markers of epidermal atypia and Langerhans cells (LCs); and at 24 hours to detect oxidative DNA damage. RESULTS: Patients had an 81% reduction in AKs and slight improvement in clinical and histologic signs of photoaging after 1 month. The biopsied chronically photodamaged skin without clinically detectable AKs showed no effect of PDT on the LC number, distribution, or morphology; and no oxidative DNA damage, in contrast to the changes reported after customary red light PDT. CONCLUSION: Customary blue light BASI-ALA-PDT does not affect the LC number or produce oxidative DNA damage, the sequelae of red light PDT responsible for immunosuppression in treated skin.
Ramaswamy, P; Powers, JG; Bhawan, J; Polyak, I; Gilchrest, BA
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