Noninvasive Extramammary Paget's Disease Treated with Photodynamic Therapy: Case Series from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



Extramammary Paget's disease (EMPD) is a rare low-grade cutaneous malignancy that affects apocrine gland-bearing areas and most commonly occurs on the perineal skin. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) may represent a useful treatment option for extensive, noninvasive EMPD, alone or as part of multimodal therapy.


To analyze the clinical outcomes of PDT for noninvasive EMPD with topical aminolevulinic acid (ALA) or intravenous porfimer sodium as photosensitizing agents and argon laser as the photoactivator.


Retrospective case series of patients with noninvasive EMPD treated at Roswell Park Cancer Institute with PDT from April 20, 1995, to December 4, 2008. Identified patients included five men and three women aged 50 to 80 (mean age 67) with a total of 24 distinct lesions of noninvasive EMPD without distant metastases. Four patients received topical ALA only as a photosensitizer, three received intravenous porfimer sodium only, and one received both. All patients were treated using a 632.8-nm argon-pumped dye laser, and some were also treated using a red lamp (590-729 nm).


Seven of nine lesions (78%) treated with PDT using intravenous porfimer sodium showed a complete response (CR) and were disease free at 12 to 96 months. Eight of 16 lesions (50%) treated with PDT using topical ALA showed a CR, and 38% were disease free at 9 to 88 months. None of the treated patients developed any serious cosmetic or functional impairments, such as loss of sphincter control or dysesthesias.


PDT with intravenous porfimer sodium or topical ALA and argon laser may represent a useful, surgery-sparing therapeutic option for management of noninvasive EMPD in selected patients. Prospective, randomized clinical trials are necessary to compare the effectiveness of PDT with that of surgery for noninvasive EMPD.


The authors have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles