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Red Light PDT Approval Process

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We at Skin Cancer and Reconstructive Surgery Center wanted to upgrade our Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) treatment of AK’s and superficial BCC by switching from the Blu-U light to a red light source. Red light spectrum has been shown to be a deeper penetrating light for photodynamic therapy and, thus, has gained greater worldwide acceptance –…

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PDT Across the Atlantic and Medical Economics

Does medical economics bias the community standards for treatment of skin cancers? If the answer is yes, then photodynamic therapy serves as an illustrative example of this bias. Private practice dermatology in the US and National Health Service of UK are practice settings with significantly different economics and also different treatment goals. The one’s is…

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DNA Molecular Testing and Personalized Medicine – Part 2

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Another genetic molecular technology that has evolved tremendously is real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). When accompanied by reverse transcription prior to PCR (RT-PCR), it has also allowed rapid multiple gene analysis useful for cancer staging such as OncotypeDx. This platform analyzes RNA for 21 genes with RT-PCR to stratify breast cancer patients according to…

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History of Radiotherapy in Dermatology

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Radiotherapy was born shortly after discovery of radiation by the Marie Curie and Peter Curie in 1889. First report of radiotherapy used for malignancy was published in 1896 in Medical Record by Victor Despeignes who treated a patient with gastric cancer in France. Émil Grubbé, a medical student in Chicago at the time, would later…

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DNA Molecular Testing and Personalized Medicine – Part 1

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Over the last several years technological advancements in the molecular underpinnings of cancer have led to a revolution of cancer management by DNA molecular testing. By utilizing cancer genetics to guide the specific and customized treatment for each patient, the concept of personalized medicine has emerged. Melanoma has been one of the cancers extensively studied…

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STUMP and MelTUMP

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Ambiguous melanocytic lesions – those with histopathologic findings without a diagnostic consensus – are divided into thin and thick tumors. Thin lesions appear as dysplastic nevi and have a potential of being part of melanoma in situ or superficial spreading melanoma. We have explored diagnostic and therapeutic considerations of the thin lesions in a previous…

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PET Imaging – Realizing a Star Trek Tricorder

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PET scanning is utilized in skin cancer staging by detecting regional lymph node metastases as well as distant organ metastases. Its specificity is superior to CT and MR for N-staging, particularly with melanoma. It can be the superior modality for primary tumor staging as well. PET scan imaging is based on the increased metabolic activity…

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Radiation Carcinogenesis

As acceptance of radiation therapy for skin cancer grows, questions arise as to the long-term risks therapeutic radiation poses. This is an area extensively measured and studied by radiation physicists and medical dosimetrists. However, from practical point of view, most of empirical data comes form epidemiological population studies. The most dramatic of these being atomic…

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