Updates on Photodynamic Therapy

Neal Bhatia, MD, reviews how to incorporate photodynamic therapy into a dermatologist’s regular practice at Winter Clinical Hawaii.

In an interview with Dermatology Times®, Neal Bhatia, MD, director of clinical dermatology at Therapeutics Clinical Research in San Diego, California, gives key pearls from his session, “What’s New and Hot with PDT Therapy” at Winter Clinical Hawaii. Bhatia mentions that photodynamic therapy has been available for years, but many dermatologists still do not utilize it.

Transcript:

Neal Bhatia, MD: Hi, I'm Dr. Neal Bhatia. I'm the director of clinical dermatology at Therapeutics Clinical Research in San Diego. Photodynamic therapy has really been with us for decades, but it still seems like a work in progress to get dermatologists to incorporate it into their offices. We're still handcuffed by the costs of the gel or the stick depending on the product is chosen, the different lights that are available, but also the downtime that patients experience, the management of the anticipated local skin reactions, and even more, so just thinking about treating for the long term. As reimbursements for PDT go up, your reimbursements for liquid nitrogen go down and the cost of topicals can be potentially limiting. We have to take into account all the different combinations available for treating both actinic keratosis and skin cancer of course with PDT and then there's also utility for using it with acne. So, I think as we go over some of the algorithms, you know, we maybe look at how our individual practices can benefit from incorporating photodynamic therapy into that mindset, we can get patients you know, a little bit better field treatment. Probably the best chemo prevention strategy we have for actinic keratosis is PDT. And even more so, just to think about some of the rejuvenation and cosmetic benefits that come from photodynamic therapy, whether you're using red light or blue light, so a lot of opportunities there to really get dermatologists to open up their eyes and maybe reconsider some options.

Transcript edited for clarity

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