The prodrug 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) and its ester derivatives have been used in photodynamic therapy (PDT) in dermatology worldwide. In China, ALA-PDT was first used to treat urethral condylomata acuminata and non-melanoma skin cancers in 1997. A powder formulation of ALA hydrochloride was approved by the Chinese Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of condylomata acuminata in 2007. Large successful experience of treating condylomatas was accumulated compared with Western countries. Meanwhile, numerous clinical studies as well as off-label use of ALA-PDT have been carried out in China. To reflect the progress of ALA-PDT in China, several major Chinese and English databases were searched and published data were reviewed in this article.
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