Photodynamic Therapy by Topical Application of Hypericin -

A Case Report


*) Special Department of Radiotherapy, City Hospital Lainz, A-1130 Vienna, Austria


**) Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Clinical Oncology and Photodynamic Therapy, Wolkersbergenstrasse 1, A-1130 Vienna, Austria.


***) Department of Chemistry, University of Bodenkultur, A-1190 Vienna, Austria


Acknowledgement: This work was supported by a grant from the Austrian Ministry of Science, Reseaarch and Culture and by research grant from the Austrian Ministry of Health and Consumers Care.


A new approach to photodynamic therapy (PDT) involves local photosensitization by the intratumoral administration of hypericin, a natural occuring substance that was isolated from Hypericum perforatum. A 51 year old otherwise healthy white male suffered from recidiving basalioma located on the medial angel of the right eye. He first received two treatments with superficially administered hypericin within a gel, but illumination with green filtered thermic light source only produced a partial tumor response. Nine months afterwards, hypericin dissolved in ethanol/water (isotonic by sodiumchloride) was injected intratumorally and after two hours the region of interest (ROI) was illuminated by green filtered white light. The dose of 200 J/cm² was achieved by adjusting the light source at about 180 mW/cm² fluence rate and by a 20 minutes lasting treatment. The patient reported of light sensitivity for 14 days. Three weeks after treatment the basalioma showed minimal remission. After 6 months ROI was not suspect clinically and tumor response led to complete remission.

This report suggests the possibility of local administration of sensitizer with weak skin penetration potency by intratumoral and interstitial injection to avoid adverse side effects of systemically applied sensitizer.