Findings from a pilot study show that a new prototype portable device that can be used to treat basal cell carcinoma at home signifcantly reduce pain levels while achieving efcacy comparable with a hospital stay.

The prototype treatment – known as a photodynamic therapy (PDT) device – involves light-sensitive medicine and a light source to destroy abnormal cancer cells.

The pilot study took place at Amaral Carvalho Hospital together with Sao Carlos Institute of Physics, in Sao Paulo State, Brazil, with 15 BCC taking part in the study.

As part of the study, the frst PDT session was performed at the hospital – this involved applying a 20% methyl aminolevulinate cream to the BCC lesion, which was then illuminated for 20 minutes with a commercial red light LED device.

The researchers assessed pain every three minutes during the hospital session and self-reported every 20 minutes during home treatment on a numerical scale from 0 to 10, with the medican score values compared between hospital and home treatments.

The clearance at 30 days after PDT was 86.67%, according to histological analysis, which the researchers found was similar to standard PDT treatment.

The pain score was also signifcantly lower for the PDT treatment performed at home, as self-reported by patients as a one for the frst three measures and a 0 for the four that followed.

This was in comparison to 3-4 for the hospital treatment, which suggests a ‘more comfortable’ treatment with less pain is possible.