Abstract Title:

Photodynamic therapy of nonmelanoma skin cancer with topical hypericum perforatum extract--a pilot study.

Abstract Source:

Photochem Photobiol. 2008 May-Jun;84(3):779-85. Epub 2008 Jan 7 PMID: 18179625

Abstract Author(s):

Denisa Kacerovská, Karel Pizinger, Filip Majer, Frantisek Smíd


Hypericin, the photoactive compound of Hypericum perforatum, is probably the most powerful photosensitizer found in nature. This compound has shown high potency in the photodynamic treatment of tumor cells. However, there is only limited knowledge regarding the photodynamic effect of hypericin on nonmelanoma skin cancer cells. The aim of this prospective study was to investigate the efficacy of photodynamic therapy with topical application of an extract of H. perforatum in actinic keratosis, basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and morbus Bowen (carcinoma in situ). The study was carried out on 34 patients--eight with actinic keratoses (AKs), 21 with BCC and five with Bowen's disease. The extract of H. perforatum was applied on the skin lesions under occlusion and that was followed by irradiation with 75 J cm(-2) of red light 2 h later. The treatment was performed weekly for 6 weeks on average. The percentage of complete clinical response was 50% for AKs, 28% in patients with superficial BCC and 40% in patients with Bowen's disease. There was only a partial remission seen in patients with nodular BCCs. A complete disappearance of tumor cells was found in the histologic preparation of 11% of patients with superficial BCCs and 80% in the patients with Bowen's disease. All patients complained of burning and pain sensations during irradiation. Although the results of this first clinical trial could be regarded as disappointing, there are still possibilities for improvement. Better preparation of the lesions, enhancement of hypericin delivery and other types of light exposure procedures could significantly improve the clinical outcomes of this relatively inexpensive treatment modality.

Study Type : Human Study

Print Options

Sayer Ji
Founder of GreenMedInfo.com

Subscribe to our informative Newsletter & get Nature's Evidence-Based Pharmacy

Our newsletter serves 500,000 with essential news, research & healthy tips, daily.

Download Now

500+ pages of Natural Medicine Alternatives and Information.

This website is for information purposes only. By providing the information contained herein we are not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Before beginning any type of natural, integrative or conventional treatment regimen, it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.

© Copyright 2008-2022 GreenMedInfo.com, Journal Articles copyright of original owners, MeSH copyright NLM.