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.

oral aminolevulinic acid hydrochloride
A powder for an oral solution comprised of the hydrochloride salt of 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) with a potential application for photodynamic therapy. After oral administration, ALA is converted intracellularly into the photosensitizer protoporphyrin IX (PpIX). Upon exposure to light of appropriate wavelength (violet to blue range), excited PpIX emits a characteristic red fluorescence which could facilitate guided resection, and generates excited singlet oxygen molecules that could kill cells when appropriate laser dosage is applied. ALA is preferentially taken up by and accumulates in many types of cancer cells compared to normal, healthy cells. Consequently, cancer cells can be visualized and can be distinguished from normal, healthy cells. Check for active clinical trials using this agent.
Synonym:5-aminolevulinic acid hydrochloride, oral
Foreign brand name:Gliolan
Abbreviation:oral 5-ALA