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Cancer Res. 1990 Nov 15;50(22):7236-41.

Effects of various photoradiation regimens on the antitumor efficacy of photodynamic therapy for R3230AC mammary carcinomas.

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  • 1University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Department of Biochemistry, New York 14642.


Clinical photodynamic therapy consists of the systemic administration of a derivative of hematoporphyrin (Photofrin II) followed by exposure of malignant lesions to continuous visible laser irradiation. We investigated the effects of various modifications of laser light delivery on the efficacy of photodynamic therapy in controlling R3230AC mammary tumor growth. We observed a significant delay in growth (from initial to 2 times initial volume) of tumors exposed to periodic irradiation (100 mW/cm2/0.25 h, 1-h dark interval, 100 mW/cm2/0.25 h; total fluence, 180 J/cm2), compared to untreated controls or to tumors receiving continuous irradiation at the same total fluence. Other periodic light treatment regimens, consisting of 3-, 6-, or 24-hr dark intervals, delayed tumor growth but not significantly more than continuous irradiation at the same fluence. A biochemical basis was sought by comparing continuous versus periodic irradiation for effects on mitochondrial or cytosolic enzymes in vivo. Although both cytochrome c oxidase and pyruvate kinase activities were reduced dramatically during the first 24 h by continuous or periodic irradiation schemes, recovery of enzyme activity to initial levels took longer after the periodic irradiation protocol (168 h), compared to the continuous irradiation regimen (72 h). We observed a significantly greater delay in the growth of tumors exposed to 50 mW/cm2/2 h continuously, compared to controls or to tumors exposed to the same total fluence but with light delivered at 100 or 200 mW/cm2. The data presented here indicate that the efficacy of photodynamic therapy could be significantly increased by modifications in the delivery of photoradiation.

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