It has been proposed that the generation of O2 during photodynamic therapy (PDT) may lead to photochemical depletion of ambient tumour oxygen, thus causing acute hypoxia and limiting treatment effectiveness. We have studied the effects of fluence rate on pO2, in the murine RIF tumour during and after PDT using 5 mg kg(-1) Photofrin and fluence rates of 30, 75 or 150 mW cm(-2). Median pO2 before PDT ranged from 2.9 to 5.2 mmHg in three treatment groups. Within the first minute of illumination, median tumour pO2 decreased with all fluence rates to values between 0.7 and 1.1 mmHg. These effects were rapidly and completely reversible if illumination was interrupted. During prolonged illumination (20-50 J cm(-2)) pO2 recovered at the 30 mW cm(-2) fluence rate to a median value of 7.4 mmHg, but remained low at the 150 mW cm(-2) fluence rate (median pO2 1.7 mmHg). Fluence rate effects were not found after PDT, and at both 30 and 150 mW cm(-2) median tumour pO2 fell from control levels to 1.0-1.8 mmHg within 1-3 h after treatment conclusion. PDT with 100 J cm(-2) at 30 mW cm(-2) caused significantly (P = 0.0004) longer median tumour regrowth times than PDT at 150 mW cm(-2), indicating that lower fluence rate can improve PDT response. Vascular perfusion studies uncovered significant fluence rate-dependent differences in the responses of the normal and tumour vasculature. These data establish a direct relationship between tumour pO2, the fluence rate applied during PDT and treatment outcome. The findings are of immediate clinical relevance.
We examined effects of fluence rate on the photobleaching of the photosensitizer Pc 4 during photodynamic therapy (PDT) and the relationship between photobleaching and tumor response to PDT. BALB/c mice with intradermal EMT6 tumors were given 0.03 mg/kg Pc 4 by intratumor injection and irradiated at 667 nm with an irradiance of 50 or 150 mW/cm2 to a fluence of 100 J/cm2. While no cures were attained, significant tumor growth delay was demonstrated at both irradiances compared to drug-only controls. There was no significant difference in tumor responses to these two irradiances (p = 0.857). Fluorescence spectroscopy was used to monitor the bleaching of Pc 4 during irradiation, with more rapid bleaching with respect to fluence shown at the higher irradiance. No significant correlation was found between fluorescence photobleaching and tumor regrowth for the data interpreted as a whole. Within each treatment group, weak associations between photobleaching and outcome were observed. In the 50 mW/cm2 group, enhanced photobleaching was associated with prolonged growth delay (p = 0.188), while at 150 mW/cm2 this trend was reversed (p = 0.308). Thus, it appears that Pc 4 photobleaching is not a strong predictor of individual tumor response to Pc4-PDT under these treatment conditions.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) with low light fluence rate has rarely been studied in protocols that use short drug–light intervals and thus deliver illumination while plasma concentrations of photosensitizer are high, creating a prominent vascular response. In this study, the effects of light fluence rate on PDT response were investigated using motexafin lutetium (10 mg/kg) in combination with 730 nm light and a 180-min drug–light interval. At 180 min, the plasma level of photosensitizer was 5.7 ng/μl compared to 3.1 ng/mg in RIF tumor, and PDT-mediated vascular effects were confirmed by a spasmodic decrease in blood flow during illumination. Light delivery at 25 mW/cm2 significantly improved long-term tumor responses over that at 75 mW/cm2. This effect could not be attributed to oxygen conservation at low fluence rate, because 25 mW/cm2 PDT provided little benefit to tumor hemoglobin oxygen saturation. However, 25 mW/cm2 PDT did prolong the duration of ischemic insult during illumination and was correspondingly associated with greater decreases in perfusion immediately after PDT, followed by smaller increases in total hemoglobin concentration in the hours after PDT. Increases in blood volume suggest blood pooling from suboptimal vascular damage; thus the smaller increases after 25 mW/cm2 PDT provide evidence of more widespread vascular damage, which was accompanied by greater decreases in clonogenic survival. Further study of low fluence rate as a means to improve responses to PDT under conditions designed to predominantly damage vasculature is warranted.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) using Photofrin was used in combination with a hypoxic toxin (mitomycin C, MMC) to treat four patients with recurrent skin metastasis of a mammary carcinoma. In preclinical experiments an additive effect was found for the combination of MMC and PDT for treating subcutaneous RIF1 tumours in mice. When interstitial PDT was combined with a low dose of MMC (administered 15 min before illumination), the Photofrin dose or light dose could be reduced by a factor of 2 in order to obtain equivalent cure rate or growth delay. In the clinical pilot study, a low dose of Photofrin (0.75 mg kg-1) was used for PDT alone (superficial illumination) or combined with low-dose MMC (5 mg m-2). Different tumour areas were illuminated with or without a preceding infusion of MMC. Both tumour response and skin photosensitivity were scored. After 8-12 weeks of treatment, tumour cure could be achieved by administering light doses > or = 150 J cm-2 for PDT alone and similar effects were obtained when light doses of 75-87.5 J cm-2 were given after infusion with MMC. In all cases necrotic tissue of both tumour and surrounding skin was observed, which lasted for a mean of 5 months (range 2-20 months). Skin phototoxicity, tested by using a standardised illumination of skin patches on the back, lasted maximally 3 weeks. Three main conclusions could be drawn from these studies: (1) The enhanced effects of the combination of PDT and MMC observed in mouse tumours can be extrapolated to patients with mammary skin metastasis. (2) The combination of PDT and hypoxic toxins facilitates treatment by permitting lower doses of photosensitiser to be used (thereby reducing skin phototoxicity) or lower light doses (thereby reducing illumination times and allowing the possibility to treat larger tumour areas). (3) Restoration of skin after PDT in previously treated tumour areas (chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery) is very low.
Background and Objective
We examined tumor response to methylene blue (MB)-mediated photodynamic therapy (PDT) in a murine tumor model. The goal was to investigate the effects of drug-light interval (DLI), injection vehicle, and fluence on tumor destruction. Fluorescence and reflectance spectroscopy informed our understanding.
Materials and Methods
EMT6 tumor cells were implanted intradermally on the backs of female BALB/c mice and grown to ~ 4-mm diameter. Mice were given a 35 μL, single site, intratumor injection of 500 μg/mL MB administered in either a water or a 5% ethanol-5% Cremophor-90% saline vehicle. PDT was begun either immediately or after a 1-hour DLI with a fluence rate of 60 mW/cm2. Each animal received a fluence of 240 or 480 J/cm2. Fluorescence and reflectance spectra were captured before and during irradiation.
A protocol consisting of the Cremophor-based vehicle, 0 DLI, and a fluence of 480 J/cm2 was the most effective, with a 55% cure rate as measured by no evidence of tumor 90 days after PDT. Use of the water vehicle with this fluence and DLI reduced the cure rate to 20%. Reducing the fluence to 240 J/cm2 similarly reduced treatment efficacy with 0 and 1-h DLIs. Univariate Cox proportional hazards analysis identified increased fluence, 0 vs. 1-h DLI, and the Cremophor vs. water vehicle as highly significant independent predictors of long term tumor control (p < 0.01 in each case). Multivariate analysis with model selection revealed fluence and injection vehicle as the best predictors of survival hazards. Fluorescence spectroscopy in vivo showed that MB fluorescence decreased monotonically during a 2-h dark interval but was restored by irradiation. Reflectance spectroscopy revealed that MB at this injected concentration attenuates the treatment beam significantly.
Sensitizer delivery vehicle, drug-light interval, and fluence contribute significantly to the tumor response to MB-mediated PDT.
fluorescence spectroscopy; methylene blue; photodynamic therapy; reflectance spectroscopy
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a light-based treatment modality in which wavelength specific activation of a photosensitizer (PS) generates cytotoxic response in the irradiated region. PDT response is critically dependent on several parameters including light dose, PS dose, uptake time, fluence rate, and the mode of light delivery. While the systematic optimization of these treatment parameters can be complex, it also provides multiple avenues for enhancement of PDT efficacy under diverse treatment conditions, provided that a rational framework is established to quantify the impact of parameter selection upon treatment response. Here we present a theranostic technique, combining the inherent ability of the PS to serve simultaneously as a therapeutic and imaging agent, with the use of image-based treatment assessment in three dimensional (3D) in vitro tumor models, to comprise a platform to evaluate the impact of PDT parameters on treatment outcomes. We use this approach to visualize and quantify the uptake, localization, and photobleaching of the PS benzoporphyrin derivative monoacid ring-A (BPD) in a range of treatment conditions with varying uptake times as well as continuous and fractionated light delivery regimens in 3D cultures of AsPC-1 and PANC-1 cells. Informed by photobleaching patterns and correlation with cytotoxic response, asymmetric fractionated light delivery at 4 hours BPD uptake was found to be the most effective regimen assessed. Quantification of the spatial profile of cell killing within multicellular nodules revealed that these conditions also achieve the highest depth of cytotoxicity along the radial axis of 3D nodules. The framework introduced here provides a means for systematic assessment of PDT treatment parameters in biologically relevant 3D tumor models with potential for broader application to other systems.
Photodynamic therapy; PDT; photosensitizer imaging; fractionation; verteporfin; BPD; in vitro 3D tumor model.
Background and Objective
Bacterial arthritis does not respond well to antibiotics and moreover multidrug resistance is spreading. We previously tested photodynamic therapy (PDT) mediated by systemic Photofrin® in a mouse model of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) arthritis, but found that neutrophils were killed by PDT and therefore the infection was potentiated.
Study Design/Materials and Methods
The present study used an intra-articular injection of Photofrin® and optimized the light dosimetry in order to maximize bacterial killing and minimize killing of host neutrophils. MRSA (5 × 107 CFU) was injected into the mouse knee followed 3 days later by 1 μg of Photofrin® and 635-nm diode laser illumination with a range of fluences within 5 minutes. Synovial fluid was sampled 6 hours or 1–3, 5, and 7 days after PDT to determine MRSA colony-forming units (CFU), neutrophil numbers, and levels of cytokines.
A biphasic light dose response was observed with the greatest reduction of MRSA CFU seen with a fluence of 20 J cm−2, whereas lower antibacterial efficacy was observed with fluences that were either lower or higher. Consistent with these results, a significantly higher concentration of macrophage inflammatory protein-2, a CXC chemokine, and greater accumulation of neutrophils were seen in the infected knee joint after PDT with a fluence of 20 J cm−2 compared to fluences of 5 or 70 J cm−2.
PDT for murine MRSA arthritis requires appropriate light dosimetry to simultaneously maximize bacterial killing and neutrophil accumulation into the infected site, while too little light does not kill sufficient bacteria and too much light kills neutrophils and damages host tissue as well as bacteria and allows bacteria to grow unimpeded by host defense.
photoinactivation; antimicrobial effect; neutrophil-mediated host defense; chemokine; macrophage inflammatory protein-2
The efficacy of photodynamic therapy (PDT) depends upon the delivery of both photosensitizing drug and oxygen. In this study, we hypothesized that local vascular microenvironment is a determinant of tumor response to PDT. Tumor vascularization and its basement membrane (collagen) were studied as a function of supplementation with basement membrane matrix (Matrigel) at the time of tumor cell inoculation. Effects on vascular composition with consequences to tumor hypoxia, photosensitizer uptake and PDT response were measured. Matrigel-supplemented tumors developed more normalized vasculature, composed of smaller and more uniformly-spaced blood vessels than their unsupplemented counterparts, but these changes did not affect tumor oxygenation or PDT-mediated direct cytotoxicity. However, PDT-induced vascular damage increased in Matrigel-supplemented tumors, following an affinity of the photosensitizer Photofrin for collagen-containing vascular basement membrane coupled with increased collagen content in these tumors. The more highly-collagenated tumors demonstrated more vascular congestion and ischemia after PDT, along with a higher probability of curative outcome that was collagen dependent. In the presence of photosensitizer-collagen localization, PDT effects on collagen were evidenced by a decrease in its association with vessels. Together, our findings demonstrate that photosensitizer localization to collagen increases vascular damage and improves treatment efficacy in tumors with greater collagen content. The vascular basement membrane is thus identified to be a determinant of therapeutic outcome in PDT of tumors.
collagen; photodynamic therapy; microenvironment; normalization; vasculature
Mechanisms for improving photodynamic therapy (PDT) were investigated in the murine RIF1 tumour using meso-tetrahydroxyphenylchlorin (m-THPC) or bacteriochlorin a (BCA) as photosensitisers and comparing these results with Photofrin-mediated PDT. The 86Rb extraction technique was used to measure changes in perfusion at various times after interstitial PDT. Non-curative combinations of light doses with m-THPC and BCA PDT markedly decreased vascular perfusion. This decrease was more pronounced for both new photosensitisers than for Photofrin. Comparison of tumour perfusion after PDT with tumour response revealed an inverse correlation for all three photosensitisers, but the relationship was less clear for m-THPC and BCA. In vivo/in vitro experiments were performed after Photofrin or m-THPC PDT in order to assess direct tumour kill (immediate plating) vs indirect vascular effects (delayed plating). For both photosensitisers, there was little direct cell killing but clonogenic survival decreased as the interval between treatment and excision increased. When m-THPC PDT was combined with mitomycin C (MMC), light doses could be decreased by a factor of 2 for equal tumour effects. Lower light and m-THPC doses could be used compared with Photofrin PDT in combination with MMC. BCA PDT with MMC did not result in a greater tumour response compared with BCA PDT alone. Reduction in both light and photosensitiser does for effective PDT regimes in combination with MMC offers substantial clinical advantages, since both treatment time and skin photosensitisation will be reduced.
Light fluence delivered to the tumor volume is an important dosimetry quantity in photodynamic therapy (PDT). The in vivo measurements in 4 patients showed that light fluence rates varied significantly in a prostate during PDT. The maximum and the mean fluence rates in a quadrant varied from 74 to 777 mW/cm2 and from 45 to 385 mW/cm2, respectively, among 13 quadrants of 4 patients’ prostates. To determine three-dimensional (3D) light fluence rate distribution in a heterogeneous prostate, a kernel model was developed. The accuracy of the model was examined with a finite-element-method (FEM) model calculation, a phantom measurement, and the in vivo measurements. The kernel model calculations showed good agreements with the FEM model calculation and the measurements. The maximum and the mean deviations of the kernel model calculation from the in vivo measurements in the 4 patients were 23% and 4%, respectively. The kernel model, which is based on an analytic expression of a point source in a spherical symmetrical heterogeneity, has the advantage of fast calculation and is suitable for real time PDT treatment planning.
photodynamic therapy; light fluence rate; prostate; heterogeneity; kernel model; finite element method model; cylindrical diffusing fiber
The in vitro susceptibility of pathogenic Candida species to the photodynamic effects of the clinically approved photosensitizing agent Photofrin was examined. Internalization of Photofrin by Candida was confirmed by confocal fluorescence microscopy, and the degree of uptake was dependent on incubation concentration. Uptake of Photofrin by Candida and subsequent sensitivity to irradiation was influenced by culture conditions. Photofrin uptake was poor in C. albicans blastoconidia grown in nutrient broth. However, conversion of blastoconidia to filamentous forms by incubation in defined tissue culture medium resulted in substantial Photofrin uptake. Under conditions where Photofrin was effectively taken up by Candida, irradiated organisms were damaged in a drug dose- and light-dependent manner. Uptake of Photofrin was not inhibited by azide, indicating that the mechanism of uptake was not dependent on energy provided via electron transport. Fungal damage induced by Photofrin-mediated photodynamic therapy (PDT) was determined by evaluation of metabolic activity after irradiation. A strain of C. glabrata took up Photofrin poorly and was resistant to killing after irradiation. In contrast, two different strains of C. albicans displayed comparable levels of sensitivity to PDT. Furthermore, a reference strain of C. krusei that is relatively resistant to fluconazole compared to C. albicans was equally sensitive to C. albicans at Photofrin concentrations of ≥3 μg/ml. The results indicate that photodynamic therapy may be a useful adjunct or alternative to current anti-Candida therapeutic modalities, particularly for superficial infections on surfaces amenable to illumination.
Glioblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor in humans. We explored the molecular mechanisms how the efficacy of photofrin based photodynamic therapy (PDT) was enhanced by miR-99a transfection in human glioblastoma cells. Our results showed almost similar uptake of photofrin after 24 h in different glioblastoma cells, but p53 wild-type cells were more sensitive to radiation and photofrin doses than p53 mutant cells. Photofrin based PDT induced apoptosis, inhibited cell invasion, prevented angiogenic network formation, and promoted DNA fragmentation and laddering in U87MG and U118MG cells harvoring p53 wild-type. Western blotting showed that photofrin based PDT was efficient to block the angiogenesis and cell survival pathways. Further, photofrin based PDT followed by miR-99a transfection dramatically increased miR-99a expression and also increased apoptosis in glioblastoma cell cultures and drastically reduced tumor growth in athymic nude mice, due to down regulation of fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) and PI3K/Akt signaling mechanisms leading to inhibition of cell proliferation and induction of molecular mechanisms of apoptosis. Therefore, our results indicated that the anti-tumor effects of photofrin based PDT was strongly augmented by miR-99a overexpression and this novel combination therapeutic strategy could be used for controlling growth of human p53 wild-type glioblastomas both in vitro and in vivo.
The role of nitric oxide (NO) in the response to Photofrin-based photodynamic therapy (PDT) was investigated using mouse tumour models characterized by either relatively high or low endogenous NO production (RIF and SCCVII vs EMT6 and FsaR, respectively). The NO synthase inhibitors Nω-nitro- L -arginine (L-NNA) or Nω-nitro- L -arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), administered to mice immediately after PDT light treatment of subcutaneously growing tumours, markedly enhanced the cure rate of RIF and SCCVII models, but produced no obvious benefit with the EMT6 and FsaR models. Laser Doppler flowmetry measurement revealed that both L-NNA and L-NAME strongly inhibit blood flow in RIF and SCCVII tumours, but not in EMT6 and FsaR tumours. When injected intravenously immediately after PDT light treatment, L-NAME dramatically augmented the decrease in blood flow in SCCVII tumours induced by PDT. The pattern of blood flow alterations in tumours following PDT indicates that, even with curative doses, regular circulation may be restored in some vessels after episodes of partial or complete obstruction. Such conditions are conducive to the induction of ischaemia-reperfusion injury, which is instigated by the formation of superoxide radical. The administration of superoxide dismutase immediately after PDT resulted in a decrease in tumour cure rates, thus confirming the involvement of superoxide in the anti-tumour effect. The results of this study demonstrate that NO participates in the events associated with PDT-mediated tumour destruction, particularly in the vascular response that is of critical importance for the curative outcome of this therapy. The level of endogenous production of NO in tumours appears to be one of the determinants of sensitivity to PDT. © 2000 Cancer Research Campaign
photodynamic therapy; nitric oxide; ischaemia-reperfusion injury; mouse tumour models; tumour blood flow; nitric oxide synthase inhibitors
We have studied the response of human mesothelioma xenografts in nude mice to Photofrin-sensitised photodynamic therapy with 514 nm light. Delays in tumour regrowth following four different 514 nm irradiation regimens were compared with results obtained with the more commonly used 630 nm light. One of these 514 nm regimens, which consisted of 1 h of irradiation at an incident fluence rate of 20 mW cm-2 and a second hour at a fluence rate of 28 mW cm-2, produced tumour volume doubling times that were statistically indistinguishable from results that were observed when tumours were irradiated for 2 h with 630 nm light at an incident fluence rate of 50 mW cm-2. The three other 514 nm light protocols tested were found to be less effective than the 630 nm regimen. The 514 nm treatment protocols were devised on the basis of attempts to equate the photodynamic dose and the dose rate at these two wavelengths, with photodynamic dose defined as the number of photons absorbed by the sensitiser. Photosensitiser extinction coefficients, photon energies and tissue optical properties were considered in these attempts. Our results indicate that, under certain conditions, photodynamic therapy performed with 514 nm light can provide tumour control that is similar to that achieved with 630 nm, with potential for diminished normal tissue damage.
Background and Objective
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a local antineoplastic treatment with the potential for tumor cell specificity. PDT using either hematoporphyrin derivatives or 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) has been reported to induce brain edema indicating disruption of the blood–brain barrier (BBB). We have evaluated the ability of ALA-mediated PDT to open the BBB in rats. This will permit access of chemotherapeutic agents to brain tumor cells remaining in the resection cavity wall, but limit their penetration into normal brain remote from the site of illumination.
Study Design/Materials and Methods
ALA-PDT was performed on non-tumor bearing inbred Fischer rats at increasing fluence levels. Contrast T1-weighted high field (3 T) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were used to monitor the degree of BBB disruption which could be inferred from the intensity and volume of the contrast agent visualized.
PDT at increasing fluence levels between 9 and 26 J demonstrated an increasing contrast flow rate. A similar increased contrast volume was observed with increasing fluence rates. The BBB was found to be disrupted 2 hours following PDT and 80–100% restored 72 hours later at the lowest fluence level. No effect on the BBB was observed if 26 J of light was given in the absence of ALA.
ALA-PDT was highly effective in opening the BBB in a localized region of the brain. The degradation of the BBB was temporary in nature at fluence levels of 9 J, opening rapidly following treatment and significantly restored during the next 72 hours. No signs of tissue damage were seen on histological sections at this fluence level. However, higher fluences did demonstrate permanent tissue changes localized in the immediate vicinity of the light source.
brain edema; fischer rat; fluence; fluence rate; magnetic resonance imaging; malignant glioma
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) employs the triple combination of photosensitizers, visible light and ambient oxygen. When PDT is used for cancer, it has been observed that both arms of the host immune system (innate and adaptive) are activated. When PDT is used for infectious disease, however, it has been assumed that the direct antimicrobial PDT effect dominates. Murine arthritis caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in the knee failed to respond to PDT with intravenously injected Photofrin®. PDT with intra-articular Photofrin produced a biphasic dose response that killed bacteria without destroying host neutrophils. Methylene blue was the optimum photosensitizer to kill bacteria while preserving neutrophils. We used bioluminescence imaging to noninvasively monitor murine bacterial arthritis and found that PDT with intra-articular methylene blue was not only effective, but when used before infection, could protect the mice against a subsequent bacterial challenge. The data emphasize the importance of considering the host immune response in PDT for infectious disease.
bacterial arthritis; bioluminescence imaging; methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; methylene blue; neutrophils; photodynamic therapy; Photofrin®; preventative PDT
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) with aminolevulinic acid (ALA) to treat nodular basal cell carcinoma (BCC) has been shown to be beneficial. The success rate of ALA-PDT in the treatment of nodular BCC is dependent on optimal penetration of the photosensitizing agent and subsequent PpIX production. To enhance topical delivery of drugs intradermally, a needleless jet injection (NLJI), which employs a high-speed jet to puncture the skin without the side effects of needles, was used in one patient with recurrent BCC of the nose. Photoactivation was then performed using red light emitting diode [CW @ λ 630 nm, irradiance 50 mW/cm2, total fluence 51 J/cm2] for 17 minutes. Excellent cosmesis was obtained. Aside from mild crusting present for six days, no other adverse signs were noted. Clinically, there was no recurrent lesion up two years postintervention. Additional studies in larger samples of subjects are needed to further evaluate this promising technique.
Meso-tetra-hydroxyphenyl-chlorin (mTHPC, Foscan®), a promising photosensitizer for photodynamic therapy (PDT), is approved in Europe for the palliative treatment of head and neck cancer. Based on work in mice that investigated optimal tumor accumulation, clinical protocols with Foscan® typically employ an interval of 96 hours between systemic sensitizer administration and irradiation. However, recent studies in mouse tumor models have demonstrated significantly improved long-term tumor response when irradiation is performed at shorter drug-light intervals of 3 and 6 hours. Using a previously published theoretical model of microscopic PDT dosimetry and informed by experimentally determined photophysical properties and intratumor sensitizer concentrations and distributions, we calculated photodynamic dose depositions following mTHPC-PDT for drug-light intervals of 3, 6, 24 and 96 h. Our results demonstrate that the singlet oxygen dose to the tumor volume does not track even qualitatively with tumor responses for these four drug-light intervals. Further, microscopic analysis of simulated singlet oxygen deposition shows that in no case do any subpopulations of tumor cells receive a threshold dose. Indeed, under the conditions of these simulations more than 90% of the tumor volume receives a dose that is approximately 20-fold lower than the threshold dose for mTHPC. Thus, in this evaluation of mTHPC-PDT at various drug-light intervals, any PDT dose metric that is proportional to singlet oxygen creation and/or deposition would fail to predict the tumor response. In situations like this one, other reporters of biological response to therapy would be necessary.
photodynamic therapy; mTHPC; dosimetry; numerical simulation
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is emerging as a promising non-invasive treatment for cancers. PDT involves either local or systemic administration of a photosensitizing drug, which preferentially localizes within the tumor, followed by illumination of the involved organ with light, usually from a laser source. Here, we provide a selective overview of our experience with PDT at Case Western Reserve University, specifically with the silicon phthalocyanine photosensitizer Pc 4. We first review our in-vitro studies evaluating the mechanism of cell killing by Pc 4-PDT. Then we briefly describe our clinical experience in a Phase I trial of Pc 4-PDT and our preliminary translational studies evaluating the mechanisms behind tumor responses. Preclinical work identified (a) cardiolipin and the anti-apoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL as targets of Pc 4-PDT, (b) the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis, with the key participation of caspase-3, as a central response of many human cancer cells to Pc 4-PDT, (c) signaling pathways that could modify apoptosis, and (d) a formulation by which Pc 4 could be applied topically to human skin and penetrate at least through the basal layer of the epidermis. Clinical-translational studies enabled us to develop an immunohistochemical assay for caspase-3 activation, using biopsies from patients treated with topical Pc 4 in a Phase I PDT trial for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Results suggest that this assay may be used as an early biomarker of clinical response.
Photodynamic Therapy; silicon phthalocyanine; Pc 4; cutaneous T-cell lymphoma; apoptosis
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) involves the administration of a photosensitizer (PS) followed by illumination with visible light, leading to generation of reactive oxygen species. The mechanisms of resistance to PDT ascribed to the PS may be shared with the general mechanisms of drug resistance, and are related to altered drug uptake and efflux rates or altered intracellular trafficking. As a second step, an increased inactivation of oxygen reactive species is also associated to PDT resistance via antioxidant detoxifying enzymes and activation of heat shock proteins. Induction of stress response genes also occurs after PDT, resulting in modulation of proliferation, cell detachment and inducing survival pathways among other multiple extracellular signalling events. In addition, an increased repair of induced damage to proteins, membranes and occasionally to DNA may happen. PDT-induced tissue hypoxia as a result of vascular damage and photochemical oxygen consumption may also contribute to the appearance of resistant cells.
The structure of the PS is believed to be a key point in the development of resistance, being probably related to its particular subcellular localization.
Although most of the features have already been described for chemoresistance, in many cases, no cross-resistance between PDT and chemotherapy has been reported. These findings are in line with the enhancement of PDT efficacy by combination with chemotherapy. The study of cross resistance in cells with developed resistance against a particular PS challenged against other PS is also highly complex and comprises different mechanisms.
In this review we will classify the different features observed in PDT resistance, leading to a comparison with the mechanisms most commonly found in chemo resistant cells.
chemoresistance; cross resistance; PDT; photodynamic therapy; photosensitizer; resistance; apoptosis; photosensitizers; mechanisms; porphyrins; MDR
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is efficacious in the treatment of small malignant lesions when all cells in the tumour receive sufficient drug, oxygen and light to induce a photodynamic effect capable of complete cytotoxicity. In large tumours, only partial effectiveness is observed presumably because of insufficient light penetration into the tissue. The heterogeneity of the metabolic response in mammary tumours following PDT has been followed in vivo using localised phosphorus NMR spectroscopy. Alterations in nucleoside triphosphates (NTP), inorganic phosphate (Pi) and pH within localised regions of the tumour were monitored over 24-48 h following PDT irradiation of the tumour. Reduction of NTP and increases in Pi were observed at 4-6 h after PDT irradiation in all regions of treated tumours. The uppermost regions of the tumours (those nearest the skin surface and exposed to the greatest light fluence) displayed the greatest and most prolonged reduction of NTP and concomitant increase in Pi resulting in necrosis. The metabolite concentrations in tumour regions located towards the base of the tumour returned a near pre-treatment levels by 24-48 h after irradiation. The ability to follow heterogeneous metabolic responses in situ provides one means to assess the degree of metabolic inhibition which subsequently leads to tumour necrosis.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has been introduced in the early eighties for treating patients
with malignancies in the tracheobronchial tract. After intravenous injection of the
photosensitizers, the tumor area in the tracheobronchial tree is illuminated bronchoscopically
using a laser fiber to transmit light of a specific wavelength during the procedure. Secondary
tissue necrosis ensues, because of the thrombosis of the tumor vasculature leading to late tissue
hypoxia. Ample data have shown that PDT is effective to obtain full depth tissue necrosis with
relative sparing of the normal tissue. Local tumor control can be achieved. Competitive
endoscopic techniques such as lasers and electrocautery are applicable to debulk tumor in a
less selective but more immediate manner. Skin photosensitivity is a potential morbidity of
PDT, especially in using the first generation photosensitizers. This limits its palliative
potential. More selective and more phototoxic sensitizers in combination with the use of
portable diode laser, may improve the clinical usefulness of PDT in the management of
lung cancer patients. However, cost-effectiveness studies comparing PDT and other local
bronchoscopic treatment modalities such as thermal lasers, electrocautery, cryotherapy,
brachytherapy, whether or not in addition to external radiotherapy and chemotherapy, should
be conducted to define its definite role in the palliative treatment of advanced obstructive
Aim of the study
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an approved, minimally invasive and highly selective therapeutic approach to a variety of tumors. It is based on specific photosensitizer accumulation in the tumor tissue, followed by irradiation with visible light. The photochemical interactions of the photosensitizer, light and molecular oxygen produce singlet oxygen and other reactive oxygen forms. The imbalance between ROS generation and antioxidant capacity of the body gives rise to oxidative stress in the cell, which initiates cell death in PDT. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of photodynamic reactions in human melanoma cell lines.
Material and methods
Photofrin® (Ph) was used for the photodynamic reaction in vitro as a photosensitizer. The primary cell line was MEWO cell line (granular fibroblasts), derived from a human melanoma. As a recurrent cell line we used Me45 cell line, derived from a lymph node metastasis of skin melanoma. We compared cell viability (MTT assay) to determine the effectiveness of applied therapy. The intracellular distribution of photosensitizer (Photofrin) and localization of mitochondria (Mito-Tracker Green) were detected by confocal microscopy.
We observed that Me45 and MEWO cell viability was dependent on the time of incubation after irradiation. In the recurrent cell line Ph accumulated mainly in the mitochondrial membranes and in MEWO cells also in the cytoplasm. The primary melanoma cell line exhibited significantly reduced cellular proliferation (below 50%) after photodynamic reaction with Ph.
The applied photodynamic reaction was more effective in primary melanoma cells. Additionally, mitochondrial localization of Ph can lead to disturbances of mitochondrial transmembrane potential and finally to release of apoptotic proteins.
photodynamic reaction; skin cancer; oxidative stress; Photofrin®
Among the photosensitizers investigated, both ring-D and ring-B reduced chlorins containing the m-iodobenzyloxyethyl group at position-3 and a carboxylic acid functionality at position-172 showed highest uptake by tumor cells and light-dependent photo reaction that correlated with maximal tumor-imaging [positron emission tomography (PET) and fluorescence] and long-term photodynamic therapy (PDT) efficacy in BALB/c mice bearing Colon26 tumors. However, among the ring-D reduced compounds, the isomer containing 1′-m-iobenzyloxyethyl group at position-3 was more effective than the corresponding 8-(1′-m-iodobenzyloxyethyl) derivative. All photosensitizers showed maximum uptake by tumor tissue 24h after injection and the tumors exposed with light at low fluence and fluence rates (128 J/cm2, 14 mW/cm2) produced significantly enhanced tumor eradication than those exposed at higher fluence and fluence rate (135 J/cm,2 75mW/cm2). Interestingly, dose-dependent cellular uptake of the compounds and light-dependent STAT3 dimerization have emerged as sensitive rapid indicators for PDT efficacy in vitro and in vivo and could be used as in vitro/in vivo biomarkers for evaluating and optimizing the in vivo treatment parameters of the existing and new PDT candidates.
Treatment failure at the primary site after chemoradiotherapy is a major problem in achieving a complete response. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) with porfimer sodium (Photofrin®) has some problems such as the requirement for shielding from light for several weeks and a high incidence of skin phototoxicity. PDT with talaporfin sodium (Laserphyrin) is less toxic and is expected to have a better effect compared with Photofrin PDT. However, Laserphyrin PDT is not approved for use in the esophagus. In this preclinical study, we investigated tissue damage of the canine normal esophagus caused by photoactivation with Laserphyrin.
Diode laser irradiation was performed at 60 min after administration. An area 5 cm oral to the esophagogastric junction was irradiated at 25 J/cm2, 50 J/cm2, and 100 J/cm2 using a three-step escalation. The irradiated areas were evaluated endoscopically on postirradiation days 1 and 7, and were subjected to histological examination after autopsy. The areas injured by photoactivation were 52 mm2, 498 mm2, and 831 mm2 after irradiation at 25 J/cm2, 50 J/cm2, and 100 J/cm2, respectively. Tissue injury was observed in the muscle layer or even deeper at any irradiation level and became more severe as the irradiation dose increased. At 100 J/cm2 both inflammatory changes and necrosis were seen histologically in extra-adventitial tissue.
To minimize injury of the normal esophagus by photoactivation with Laserphyrin, diode laser irradiation at 25 J/cm2 appears to be safe. For human application, it would be desirable to investigate the optimal laser dose starting from this level.