NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 8,290 terms related to cancer and medicine.

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aminolevulinic acid hydrochloride
(uh-MEE-noh-LEH-vyoo-LIH-nik A-sid HY-droh-KLOR-ide)
A drug used under the brand names Ameluz and Levulan Kerastick to treat actinic keratosis (a skin condition that may become cancer). It is also used under the brand name Gleolan as an imaging agent during surgery for certain types of brain tumors. Aminolevulinic acid hydrochloride is also being studied in the treatment of other conditions and types of cancer. When aminolevulinic acid hydrochloride is taken up by abnormal cells, including cancer cells, and then exposed to certain types of light, it becomes active and kills the cells. It may also help find some types of cancer cells when they are exposed to certain types of light. Aminolevulinic acid hydrochloride is a type of photosensitizing agent.