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1.  Photodynamic Therapy with 3-(1’-hexyloxyethyl) pyropheophorbide a (HPPH) for Cancer of the Oral Cavity 
The primary objective was to evaluate safety of 3-(1’-hexyloxyethyl)pyropheophorbide-a (HPPH) photodynamic therapy (HPPH-PDT) for dysplasia and early squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (HNSCC). Secondary objectives were the assessment of treatment response and reporters for an effective PDT reaction.
Experimental Design
Patients with histologically proven oral dysplasia, carcinoma in situ (CiS ) or early stage HNSCC were enrolled in two sequentially conducted dose escalation studies with an expanded cohort at the highest dose level. These studies employed an HPPH dose of 4 mg/m2 and light doses from 50 to 140 J/cm2. Pathologic tumor responses were assessed at 3 months. Clinical follow up range was 5 to 40 months. PDT induced cross-linking of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) were assessed as potential indicators of PDT effective reaction.
Forty patients received HPPH-PDT. Common adverse events were pain and treatment site edema. Biopsy proven complete response rates were 46% for dysplasia and CiS, and 82% for SCCs lesions at 140 J/cm2. The responses in the CiS/dysplasia cohort are not durable. The PDT induced STAT3 cross-links is significantly higher (P=0.0033) in SCC than in CiS/dysplasia for all light-doses.
HPPH-PDT is safe for the treatment of CiS/dysplasia and early stage cancer of the oral cavity. Early stage oral HNSCC appears to respond better to HPPH-PDT in comparison to premalignant lesions. The degree of STAT3 cross-linking is a significant reporter to evaluate HPPH-PDT mediated photoreaction.
PMCID: PMC3911775  PMID: 24088736
Lasers in Surgery and Medicine  2011;43(7):705-712.
Background and Objectives
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) with porfimer sodium, FDA approved to treat premalignant lesions in Barrett’s esophagus, causes photosensitivity for 6-8 weeks. HPPH (2-[1-hexyloxyethyl]-2-devinyl pyropheophorbide-a) shows minimal photosensitization of short duration and promising efficacy in preclinical studies. Here we explore toxicity and optimal drug and light dose with endoscopic HPPH-PDT. We also want to know the efficacy of one time treatment with HPPH-PDT.
Study Design/Materials and Methods
Two nonrandomized dose escalation studies were performed (18 patients each) with biopsy-proven high grade dysplasia or early intramucosal adenocarcinoma of esophagus. HPPH doses ranged from 3 to 6 mg/m2. At 24 or 48 hours after HPPH administration the lesions received one endoscopic exposure to 150, 175 or 200 J/cm of 665 nm light.
Most patients experienced mild to moderate chest pain requiring symptomatic treatment only. Six patients experienced Grade 3 & 4 adverse events (16.6%). Three esophageal strictures were treated with dilatation. No clear pattern of dose dependence of toxicities emerged.
In the drug dose ranging study (light dose of 150 J/cm at 48 h), 3 and 4 mg/m2 of HPPH emerged as most effective. In the light dose ranging study (3 or 4 mg/m2 HPPH, light at 24 h), complete response rates (disappearance of high grade dysplasia and early carcinoma) of 72% were achieved at 1 year, with all patients treated with 3 mg/m2 HPPH plus 175 J/cm and 4 mg/m2 HPPH plus 150 J/cm showing complete responses at 1 year.
HPPH-PDT for precancerous lesions in Barrett’s esophagus appears to be safe and showing promising efficacy. Further clinical studies are required to establish the use of HPPH-PDT.
PMCID: PMC3218433  PMID: 22057498
Esophageal cancer; High Grade Dysplasia; Photosensitizer; Ablative Therapies
3.  A Retrospective Review of Pain Control by a Two-Step Irradiance Schedule During Topical ALA-Photodynamic Therapy of Non-melanoma Skin Cancer 
Lasers in surgery and medicine  2013;45(2):89-94.
Background and Objective
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) with topical δ-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) of non-melanoma skin cancers is often associated with treatment-limiting pain. A previous study on basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) at Roswell Park Cancer Institute evaluated a two-step irradiance scheme as a means of minimizing pain, preserving outcomes, and limiting treatment time. We used an initial low irradiance until 90% of the protoporphyrin IX was photobleached, followed by a high irradiance interval until the prescribed fluence was delivered. Success of this pilot investigation motivated integration of the protocol into routine practice. Here we present a retrospective review of recent clinical experience in a broad patient population.
Study Design/Materials and Methods
This was a retrospective review of an existing dermatology data base. Fourteen caucasion patients - 9 men and 5 women, ages 18 to 80, with a total of 51 superficial and 73 nodular BCCs, and three Bowen's disease lesions – were included. ALA was applied to each lesion for approximately 4h. Lesions received an initial irradiance of 30 - 50 mW/cm2 for 20 J/cm2, followed by 150 mW/cm2 for a total fluence of 200-300 J/cm2. Pain was assessed using a visual analog scale (VAS). Clinical outcome was determined at 6-12 months.
Median VAS scores were 1.0 for both irradiances. Five of 127 lesions required pain control with 1% xylocaine. Pain was strongly influenced by lesion location but not by lesion type, number, or size. Complete responses were achieved in 84.1% of BCCs, which compares favorably with reported results for single ALA-PDT treatments. Two of three Bowen's disease lesions showed a complete response. Complete responses for nodular BCCs were 37%, which are also within the range of reported outcomes.
A two-step irradiance protocol in ALA-PDT effectively minimizes pain, maintains excellent clinical outcomes in superficial lesions, and adds minimal treatment time.
PMCID: PMC3685854  PMID: 23390058
δ-aminolevulinic acid; basal cell carcinoma; Bowen's disease; protoporphyrin IX
4.  Light Delivery Over Extended Time Periods Enhances the Effectiveness of Photodynamic Therapy 
The rate of energy delivery is a principal factor determining the biological consequences of photodynamic therapy (PDT). In contrast to conventional high irradiance treatments, recent preclinical and clinical studies have focused on low irradiance schemes. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between irradiance, photosensitizer dose and PDT dose with regard to treatment outcome and tumor oxygenation in a rat tumor model.
Experimental Design
Using the photosensitizer HPPH (2-[1-hexyloxyethyl]-2 devinyl pyropheophorbide), a wide range of PDT doses that included clinically relevant photosensitizer concentrations were evaluated. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and oxygen tension measurements were performed along with the Evans blue exclusion assay to assess vascular response, oxygenation status and tumor necrosis.
In contrast to high incident laser power (150 mW), low power regimens (7 mW) yielded effective tumor destruction. This was largely independent of PDT dose (drug-light product), with up to 30-fold differences in photosensitizer dose and 15-fold differences in drug-light product. For all drug-light products, the duration of light treatment positively influenced tumor response. Regimens utilizing treatment times of 120–240 mins showed marked reduction in signal intensity in T2-weighted MR images at both low (0.1 mg/kg) and high (3 mg/kg) drug doses compared to short duration (6–11 mins) regimens. Significantly greater reductions in pO2 were observed with extended exposures, which persisted after completion of treatment.
These results confirm the benefit of prolonged light exposure, identify vascular response as a major contributor and suggest that duration of light treatment (time) may be an important new treatment parameter.
PMCID: PMC2805854  PMID: 18451247
Photodynamic therapy; HPPH; light delivery; fluence; fluence rate
5.  Quantification of PpIX concentration in basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma models using spatial frequency domain imaging 
Biomedical Optics Express  2013;4(4):531-537.
5-aminolaevulinic acid photodynamic therapy (ALA-PDT) is an attractive treatment option for nonmelanoma skin tumors, especially for multiple lesions and large areas. The efficacy of ALA-PDT is highly dependent on the photosensitizer (PS) concentration present in the tumor. Thus it is desirable to quantify PS concentration and distribution, preferably noninvasively to determine potential outcome. Here we quantified protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) distribution induced by topical and intra-tumoral (it) administration of the prodrug ALA in basal and squamous cell carcinoma murine models by using spatial frequency domain imaging (SFDI). The in vivo measurements were validated by analysis of the ex vivo extraction of PpIX. The study demonstrates the feasibility of non-invasive quantification of PpIX distributions in skin tumors.
PMCID: PMC3617715  PMID: 23577288
(170.0170) Medical optics and biotechnology; (170.5180) Photodynamic therapy; (170.3880) Medical and biological imaging; (170.1610) Clinical applications
6.  Cell-type Selective Phototoxicity Achieved with Chlorophyll-a Derived Photosensitizers in a Co-culture System of Primary Human Tumor and Normal Lung Cells 
Photochemistry and photobiology  2011;87(6):1405-1418.
The ATP-dependent transporter ABCG2 exports certain photosensitizers (PS) from cells, implying that the enhanced expression of ABCG2 by cancer cells may confer resistance to photodynamic therapy (PDT) mediated by those PS. In 35 patient-derived primary cultures of lung epithelial and stromal cells, PS with different subcellular localization and affinity for ABCG2 displayed cell-type specific retention both independent and dependent on ABCG2. In the majority of cases, the ABCG2 substrate 2-[1-hexyloxyethyl]-2-devinyl pyropheophorbide-a (HPPH) was lost from fibroblastic cells more rapidly than from their epithelial counterparts, even in the absence of detectable ABCG2 expression, facilitating selective eradication by PDT of epithelial over fibroblastic cells in tumor/stroma co-cultures. Pairwise comparison of normal and transformed epithelial cells also identified tumor cells with elevated or reduced retention of HPPH, depending on ABCG2. Enhanced ABCG2 expression led to the selective PDT survival of tumor cells in tumor/stroma co-cultures. This survival pattern was reversible through HPPH derivatives that are not ABCG2 substrates or the ABCG2 inhibitor imatinib mesylate. PS retention, not differences in subcellular distribution or cell signaling responses, was determining cell type selective death by PDT. These data suggest that up-front knowledge of tumor characteristics, specifically ABCG2 status, could be helpful in individualized PDT treatment design.
PMCID: PMC3200467  PMID: 21883244
7.  Interlesion differences in the local photodynamic therapy response of oral cavity lesions assessed by diffuse optical spectroscopies 
Biomedical Optics Express  2012;3(9):2142-2153.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) efficacy depends on the local dose deposited in the lesion as well as oxygen availability in the lesion. We report significant interlesion differences between two patients with oral lesions treated with the same drug dose and similar light dose of 2-1[hexyloxyethyl]-2-devinylpyropheophorbide-a (HPPH)-mediated photodynamic therapy (PDT). Pre-PDT and PDT-induced changes in hemodynamic parameters and HPPH photosensitizer content, quantified by diffuse optical methods, demonstrated substantial differences between the two lesions. The differences in PDT action determined by the oxidative cross-linking of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), a molecular measure of accumulated local PDT photoreaction, also showed >100-fold difference between the lesions, greatly exceeding what would be expected from the slight difference in light dose. Our results suggest diffuse optical spectroscopies can provide in vivo metrics that are indicative of local PDT dose in oral lesions.
PMCID: PMC3447556  PMID: 23024908
(170.0170) Medical optics and biotechnology; (170.3660) Light propagation in tissues; (170.6480) Spectroscopy, speckle; (170.3880) Medical and biological imaging
8.  Monitoring blood flow responses during topical ALA-PDT 
Biomedical Optics Express  2010;2(1):123-130.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) using topical 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) is currently used as a clinical treatment for nonmelanoma skin cancers. In order to optimize PDT treatment, vascular disruption early in treatment must be identified and prevented. We present blood flow responses to topical ALA-PDT in a preclinical model and basal cell carcinoma patients assessed by diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS). Our results show that ALA-PDT induced early blood flow changes and these changes were irradiance dependent. It is clear that there exists considerable variation in the blood flow responses in patients from lesion to lesion. Monitoring blood flow parameter may be useful for assessing ALA-PDT response and planning.
PMCID: PMC3028487  PMID: 21326642
(170.0170) Medical optics and biotechnology; (170.3660) Light propagation in tissues; (170.6480) Spectroscopy, speckle; (170.3880) Medical and biological imaging
9.  Activation of the IL-10 Gene Promoter Following Photodynamic Therapy of Murine Keratinocytes¶ 
Photochemistry and photobiology  2001;73(2):170-177.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT), an anticancer treatment modality, has recently been shown to be an effective treatment for several autoimmune disease models including antigen-induced arthritis. PDT was found to induce the expression of IL-10 messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein in the skin, and this expression has similar kinetics to the appearance of PDT-induced suppression of skin-mediated immune responses such as the contract hypersensitivity (CHS) response. Some aspects of the UVB-induced suppression of the immune response have been linked to the induction of IL-10. IL-10 has been shown to inhibit the development and activation of Th1 cells, which are critical for many cell-mediated immune responses, including CHS. We have examined the effect of PDT and UVB irradiation on the activity of the IL-10 gene promoter and on IL-10 mRNA stability using the murine keratinocyte line, PAM 212. In vitro PDT induces IL-10 mRNA and protein expression from PAM 212 cells, which can be correlated with an increase in AP-1 DNA binding activity and activation of the IL-10 gene promoter by PDT. Deletion of an AP-1 response element from the IL-10 gene promoter was shown to abrogate the PDT-induced promoter activity indicating that the AP-1 response element is critical to IL-10 induction by PDT. In addition, PDT results in an increase in IL-10 mRNA stability, which may also contribute to the increased IL-10 expression in PAM 212 cells following PDT. In vitro UVB irradiation also results in activation of the IL-10 promoter. However, in contrast to PDT, UVB-induced activation of the IL-10 promoter is not AP-1 dependent and did not increase IL-10 mRNA stability.
PMCID: PMC2919222  PMID: 11272731
10.  Photodynamic Therapy Enhancement of Antitumor Immunity Is Regulated by Neutrophils 
Cancer research  2007;67(21):10501-10510.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a Food and Drug Administration–approved local cancer treatment that can be curative of early disease and palliative in advanced disease. PDT of murine tumors results in regimen-dependent induction of an acute local inflammatory reaction, characterized in part by rapid neutrophil infiltration into the treated tumor bed. In this study, we show that a PDT regimen that induced a high level of neutrophilic infiltrate generated tumor-specific primary and memory CD8+ T-cell responses. In contrast, immune cells isolated from mice treated with a PDT regimen that induced little or no neutrophilic infiltrate exhibited minimal antitumor immunity. Mice defective in neutrophil homing to peripheral tissues (CXCR2−/− mice) or mice depleted of neutrophils were unable to mount strong antitumor CD8+ T-cell responses following PDT. Neutrophils seemed to be directly affecting T-cell proliferation and/or survival rather than dendritic cell maturation or T-cell migration. These novel findings indicate that by augmenting T-cell proliferation and/or survival, tumor-infiltrating neutrophils play an essential role in establishment of antitumor immunity following PDT. Furthermore, our results may suggest a mechanism by which neutrophils might affect antitumor immunity following other inflammation-inducing cancer therapies. Our findings lay the foundation for the rational design of PDT regimens that lead to optimal enhancement of antitumor immunity in a clinical setting. Immune-enhancing PDT regimens may then be combined with treatments that result in optimal ablation of primary tumors, thus inhibiting growth of primary tumor and controlling disseminated disease.
PMCID: PMC2919236  PMID: 17974994
11.  Conjugation of 2-(1′-Hexyloxyethyl)-2-devinylpyropheophorbide-a (HPPH) to Carbohydrates Changes its Subcellular Distribution and Enhances Photodynamic Activity in Vivo† 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2009;52(14):4306-4318.
The carbohydrate moieties on conjugating with 3-(1′-hexyloxyethyl)-3-devinyl pyropeophorbide-a (HPPH) altered the uptake and intracellular localization from mitochondria to lysosomes. In vitro, HPPH-Gal 9 PDT showed increased PDT efficacy over HPPH–PDT as detectable by the oxidative cross-linking of nonphosphorylated STAT3 and cell killing in ABCG2-expressing RIF cells but not in ABCG2-negative Colon26 cells. This increased efficacy in RIF cells could at least partially be attributed to increased cellular accumulation of 9, suggesting a role of the ABCG2 transporter for which HPPH is a substrate. While such differences in the accumulation in HPPH derivatives by tumor tissue in vivo were not detectable, 9 still showed an elevated light dose-dependent activity compared to HPPH in mice bearing RIF as well as Colon26 tumors. Further optimization of the carbohydrate conjugates at variable treatment parameters in vivo is currently underway.
PMCID: PMC2913405  PMID: 19507863

Results 1-11 (11)