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Use of multiple photosensitizers and wavelengths during photodynamic therapy: a new approach to enhance tumor eradication.


Several studies have examined the synergism of hyperthermia or chemotherapy agents in combination with photodynamic therapy (PDT) to enhance tumor eradication. In our unique approach to treatment, multiple photosensitizers and wavelengths were used: two photosensitizers, Photofrin II and meso-tetra-(4-sulfonatophenyl)-porphine (TPPS4), irradiated at the appropriate therapeutic wavelength for each photosensitizer. EMT-6 mammary tumors were induced in the flanks of BALB/c mice. The mice were assigned to a control group (50 mice) or treatment group (150 mice). All treatment animals and some control animals received photosensitizing drug (5 mg/kg of TPPS4, 5 mg/kg of Photofrin II, or 2.5 mg/kg of both TPPS4 and Photofrin II). All treatment animals and some control animals also received light treatment (630 nm for TPPS4 and/or 658 nm for Photofrin II). The results show that the approach using both drugs and the corresponding therapeutic wavelengths enhanced the effectiveness of PDT. This approach achieved a cure rate of up to 100%, which was, depending on the light intensity used, as much as 40% greater than the rate achieved by the approach using one drug and one wavelength. The results also show that lesser amounts of drug and/or light may be required if both drugs and wavelengths are used, thus lowering the chances of side effects common to PDT. Furthermore, the results indicate that the increased tumor kill is due to a synergistic effect of the two photosensitizers that was tested on the tumor microvasculature in the first few hours after PDT.

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