Chemical formula: C₅H₉NO₃ Molecular mass: 131.13 g/mol PubChem compound: 137
5-Aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) is a natural biochemical precursor of heme that is metabolised in a series of enzymatic reactions to fluorescent porphyrins, particularly PPIX. 5-ALA synthesis is regulated by an intracellular pool of free heme via a negative feedback mechanism. Administration of excess exogenous 5-ALA avoids the negative feedback control, and accumulation of PPIX occurs in target tissue. In the presence of visible light, fluorescence of PPIX (photodynamic effect) in certain target tissues can be used for photodynamic diagnosis.
This medicinal substance has been classified in the anatomical therapeutic chemical (ATC) classification according to its main therapeutic use as follows:
|L Antineoplastic and immunomodulating agents → L01 Antineoplastic agents → L01X Other antineoplastic agents → L01XD Sensitizers used in photodynamic/radiation therapy
Competent medicine agencies globally have authorized commercialization of this active ingredient according to these medication package inserts (MPIs):
|FDA, National Drug Code (US)
|MPI, US: SPL/PLR
|GLIOLAN Powder for oral solution
|European Medicines Agency (EU)
|MPI, EU: SmPC
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