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PhotoCure - NICE recommends PDT for common skin cancer and pre-malign lesions

The National Instititute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends photodynamic therapy for common skin cancer and pre-malign lesions.

The National Instititute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends photodynamic therapy for common skin cancer and pre-malign lesions.

Photodynamic therapy for the most common form of skin cancer and for pre-malignant lesions is as safe and effective as cryosurgery, and has better cosmetic results according to a newly issued guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE ), an independent UK organisation. NICE recommendations are followed by the UK National Health System (NHS), and are also highly regarded by health authorities elsewhere in Europe and around the world.NICE now recommends photodynamic therapy (PDT) routinely for basal cell carcinoma and pre-malignant lesions, such as actinic (solar) keratoses and Bowen's disease. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common skin cancer. It is usually not life threatening but can cause extensive tissue destruction if it is not treated adequately. Actinic or solar keratoses are hard lumps in the skin, the effect of sun damage. They are usually harmless, but have the potential to develop into squamous cell carcinoma. It is impossible to predict which lesions will develop into cancer. Solar keratoses are very common. "This is a great acceptance of PDT as a valuable method from one of the world's most trusted independent organizations providing national guidance to health authorities" says Kjetil Hestdal, CEO of PhotoCure.In the guidance, the specialist advisors state that photodynamic therapy (PDT) may be particularly useful for large, superficial lesions and multiple lesions where repair would otherwise require extensive surgery. They are more cautious in their guidance for PDT of invasive squamous cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer that can metastasize and become life threatening. The Norwegian pharmaceutical company PhotoCure has developed Metvix specifically for the treatment for basal cell carcinoma and pre-malign lesions. PhotoCure is itself marketing Metvix in the Nordic countries and Galderma, the top Pharmaceutical Company in Dermatology, which has aquired the license for Metvix PDT is responsible for the marketing and sales for the rest of the world."The guidance from NICE is a welcome acceptance of the efficacy and safety of PDT treatment in all the current indications for Metvix PDT which are today basal cell carcinoma, Bowen's disease and actinic keratoses," says Humberto Antunes, CEO of Galderma.

PhotoCure ASA is a Norwegian pharmaceutical company founded in 1993 and listed on Oslo Stock Exchange. The company develops and sells pharmaceuticals and medical devices based on proprietary photodynamic technologies, targeting key dermatology and oncology markets.

PhotoCure has two products with sales and marketing approvals: Metvix®, which is a product developed for the treatment of skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma) and pre-cancerous skin lesions (actinic keratosis), and Hexvix®, which is developed for the detection of bladder cancer. Both products are based on the same photodynamic technology, combining the drug known as a photosensitiser with a light source that activates the photosensitiser. PhotoCure is currently testing both products for new indications and aims to develop a pipeline of follow-on products and technologies.

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