Fractionated illumination at low fluence rate photodynamic therapy in mice
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) for actinic field cancerization is effective but painful. Pain mechanisms remain unclear but fluence rate has been shown to be a critical factor. Lower fluence rates also utilize available oxygen more efficiently. We investigated PDT effect in normal SKH1-HR mice using low and high fluence rate aminolevulinic acid (ALA) PDT and a fractionated illumination scheme. Six groups of six mice with different light treatment parameters were studied. Visual skin damage was assessed up to 7 days post-PDT. Fluorescence and reflectance spectroscopy during illuminations provided us with real-time information about protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) photobleaching. A novel dosing approach was introduced in that we used a photobleaching percentage instead of a preset fluence. Data show similar total and maximum damage scores in high and low fluence rate groups. Photobleaching of PpIX in the low fluence rate groups shows a trend toward more efficient photobleaching. Results indicate that low fluence rate PDT is as effective as and more efficient than high fluence rate PDT in normal mouse skin. Low fluence rate PDT light protocols need to be explored in human studies in search for an effective and well-tolerated treatment for actinic field cancerization.