Clinical dermatology, cosmetic and surgical
Dr. Adrián Ogrodniczuk


Does the PUVA treatments against psoriasis exacerbates the risk of cancer, squamous cell or basal cell carcinoma?

Publication date: 31/08/2012

INTRODUCTION link between the therapeutic use of psoralen and ultraviolet rays of type A and the risk of cancer, squamous cell or Basal Cell , a prospective study of 30 years.

The treatment known as PUVA , or Puvatherapy, consists in combining the supply of psoralen with exposure to ultra-violet radiation of type A (UVA), which has the role to activate the drug.

Follow-up during thirty years of a cohort of patients who had received PUVA treatment against psoriasis (administration of psoralen and UVA irradiation) to several conclusions. A) exposure to 350 or more session involves significant increased risk of squamous cell cancer, and a very moderate increase risk of basocarcinoma cell. B) The PUVA treatment with the least amount of session involves risk cancer much more reduced. Therefore, when evaluating the opportunity to implement the above-mentioned treatment in patients with psoriasis should be taken into account especially the possible risk of favoring the occurrence of squamous cell cancers.



Stern RS, evaluador de los resultados reunidos en el estudio PUVA Follow-Up.

JAAD: Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2012; 66(4): 553-62

Melski J, et al., Oral methoxsalen photochemotherapy for the treatment of psoriasis: a cooperative clinical trial; J Invest Dermatol., 1977; 68: