Open Access
Approaches to improve photodynamic therapy of cancer
Malgorzata Firczuk1,Magdalena Winiarska1,Angelika Szokalska1,Malgorzata Jodlowska1,Marta Swiech1,Kamil Bojarczuk1,Pawel Salwa1,Dominika Nowis1
Department of Immunology, Centre of Biostructure Research, Medical University of Warsaw, Banacha 1A F building, 02-097 Warsaw, Poland
DOI: 10.2741/3684 Volume 16 Issue 1, pp.208-224
Published: 01 January 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in molecular medicine)

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a clinically approved method of tumor treatment. Its unique mechanism of action results from minimal invasiveness and high selectivity towards transformed cells. However, visible light used to excite most photosensitizers has rather limited ability to penetrate tissues resulting in insufficient destruction of deeply seated malignant cells. Therefore, novel strategies for further potentiation of the anticancer effectiveness of PDT have been developed. These include combined treatments with surgery, chemo- and radiotherapy, strategies targeting cytoprotective mechanisms induced in PDT-treated cells, as well as attempts aimed at enhancement of PDT-mediated antitumor immune response. Moreover, new photosensitizers and novel light sources are being developed. Impressive progress in nanotechnology and understanding of tumor cell biology rise hopes for further improvements in this elegant and promising method of cancer treatment.

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Malgorzata Firczuk, Magdalena Winiarska, Angelika Szokalska, Malgorzata Jodlowska, Marta Swiech, Kamil Bojarczuk, Pawel Salwa, Dominika Nowis. Approaches to improve photodynamic therapy of cancer. Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark. 2011. 16(1); 208-224.