NCI Drug Dictionary

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.

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aminolevulinic acid
A topically administered metabolic precursor of protoporphyrin IX. After topical administration, aminolevulinic acid (ALA) is converted to protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) which is a photosensitizer. When the proper wavelength of light activates protoporphyrin IX, singlet oxygen is produced, resulting in a local cytotoxic effect. Check for active clinical trials using this agent. (NCI Thesaurus)

Synonym:5-aminolaevulinic acid
5-aminolevulinic acid
amino-levulinic acid
delta aminolevulinic acid
delta-aminolevulinic acid
Abbreviation:5-ALA
Chemical structure:
  • 5-amino-4-oxopentanoic acid
  • d-amino-levulinic acid