The increasing burden from basal cell carcinoma (BCC) has stimulated the development of alternative treatments for these tumors.
This review focuses on upcoming laser treatments for BCC and highlights the limitations of these therapies.
A PUBMED search was conducted for articles on laser therapy of BCC. Key studies involving lasers to treat BCC were reviewed. Novel approaches to BCC are also described.
Vascular-specific laser therapy has increasingly been studied as an addition in the therapeutic armamentarium of BCC. Although these studies demonstrate efficacy for nonaggressive BCC, optimization of this technique is ongoing to minimize scarring. A more targeted approach to the treatment of BCC, such as immunized photothermal therapy or laser-assisted chemotherapeutic delivery, may result in less scarring, while maintaining efficacy similar to that of lasers targeting tumor vasculature.
Vascular-specific laser therapies show promise in treating low-risk BCC; however, scarring is not an uncommon adverse event. Although only animal studies have been performed to date, laser-activated gold nanoparticle therapy and laser-assisted drug delivery of vismodegib are potential therapies that theoretically confer a more selective approach. Laser modalities demonstrate promise in the treatment of nonaggressive BCC, although long-term studies have yet to be published.