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Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Brian Diffey
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Psoralen photochemotherapy (PUVA) is the combined treatment of skin disorders with a photosensitizing drug (Psoralen) and UltraViolet A radiation. The introduction of PUVA therapy has arguably been the most important development in dermatology over the past 30 years and from the first days of the treatment being introduced in the UK, British medical physicists were an integral part of the effort to establish it. Medical physicists have contributed to this development in a number of ways, from designing irradiation units in the early days of the technique, through to collaborating with dermatologists in prosecuting clinical and experimental studies aimed at improving patient outcomes. That the dose of UVA radiation is administered quantitatively, and not qualitatively, has probably been the single most important contribution made by several medical physicists over this period. However, despite concerns that were expressed almost 30 years ago about the accuracy with which UVA doses are administered to patients, the medical physics community still has some way to go before we can be satisfied that statements about UVA irradiance and dose can be made with confidence. © 2006 IOP Publishing Ltd.
Author(s): Diffey B
Publication type: Review
Publication status: Published
Journal: Physics in Medicine and Biology
ISSN (print): 0031-9155
ISSN (electronic): 1361-6560
PubMed id: 16790905