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Cancer Lett. 2013 Jul 1;334(2):176-87. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2012.09.012. Epub 2012 Sep 24.

Nanophotosensitizers toward advanced photodynamic therapy of Cancer.

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Center for Theragnosis, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, 39-1 Hawolgok-dong, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 136-791, Republic of Korea.


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a non-invasive treatment modality for selective destruction of cancer and other diseases and involves the colocalization of light, oxygen, and a photosensitizer (PS) to achieve photocytotoxicity. Although this therapeutic method has considerably improved the quality of life and life expectancy of cancer patients, further advances in selectivity and therapeutic efficacy are required to overcome numerous side effects related to classical PDT. The application of nanoscale photosensitizers (NPSs) comprising molecular PSs and nanocarriers with or without other biological/photophysical functions is a promising approach for improving PDT. In this review, we focus on four nanomedical approaches for advanced PDT: (1) nanocarriers for targeted delivery of PS, (2) introduction of active targeting moieties for disease-specific PDT, (3) stimulus-responsive NPSs for selective PDT, and (4) photophysical improvements in NPS for enhanced PDT efficacy.


► Conservation of normal tissues demands non-invasive therapeutic methods. ► PDT is a light-activated, non-invasive modality for selective destruction of cancers.► Success of PDT requires further advances to overcome the limitations of classical PDT. ►Nanophotosensitizers help improve target selectivity and therapeutic efficacy of PDT.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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