Confocal microscopy insights into the treatment and cellular immune response of basal cell carcinoma to photodynamic therapy

Caterina Longo, Alice Casari, Patrizia Pepe, Elvira Moscarella, Iris Zalaudek, Giuseppe Argenziano, Giovanni Pellacani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Photodynamic therapy (PDT) represents an optimal treatment for basal cell carcinoma (BCC). Reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM) is a noninvasive imaging tool that has been applied in skin oncology and for BCC diagnosis. Moreover, RCM is a useful tool to determine noninvasive treatment efficacy of nonmelanoma skin cancer. Objective: We aimed to investigate the role of RCM in assessing the efficacy of PDT in the treatment of BCC and to evaluate the skin changes following the PDT. Methods: Ten patients with 12 BCCs were treated with PDT. Dermoscopy and RCM imaging were performed at baseline as well as 7 days (T1), 30 days and 18 months after PDT. Cytological examination was taken at baseline and in case of BCC persistence. Results: At T1, RCM showed the presence of several dendritic-shaped cells within the epidermis, corresponding to activated Langerhans cells. After 1 month, RCM showed the persistence of 2 BCCs, which escaped the clinical and dermoscopic diagnosis. At the long-term follow-up, none of the tumors revealed signs of persistence or recurrence. Conclusion: RCM is a valuable noninvasive tool for the diagnosis and treatment monitoring of BCC using PDT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-270
Number of pages7
JournalDermatology
Volume225
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

Keywords

  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Reflectance confocal microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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