NCI Drug Dictionary

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The NCI Drug Dictionary contains technical definitions and synonyms for drugs/agents used to treat patients with cancer or conditions related to cancer. Each drug entry includes links to check for clinical trials listed in NCI's List of Cancer Clinical Trials.

The hexyl ester of 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) with photodynamic properties. As a precursor of photoactive porphorins, hexaminolevulinate induces the endogenous production of the photosensitizer protoporphyrin IX (PPIX) which accumulates selectively in tumor tissue. When exposed to specific wavelengths of light, PPIX is activated and, depending on the wavelength and/or intensity of light, either fluoresces, thereby allowing tumor imaging, or induces tumor cell apoptosis. Check for active clinical trials using this agent. (NCI Thesaurus)
Synonyms:hexyl 5-aminolevulinate