Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Pharmacol Ther. 1994;63(1):1-35.

Phototherapeutic potential of alternative photosensitizers to porphyrins.

Author information

Department of Chemistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


Because of promising clinical results obtained with photodynamic therapy, more and more photosensitizers continue to be isolated (from natural sources), synthesized and evaluated, the development of which is considered to be a key factor for the successful clinical application of photodynamic therapy. Porphyrins and their analogs (as classical types of phototherapeutic agents) have been extensively reviewed. In this review, we have attempted to summarize the phototherapeutic potential (in particular, anticancer and antiviral aspects) of nonporphyrin photosensitizers (as a new generation of phototherapeutic agents) in more detail, which have been relatively much less reviewed hitherto. They include anthraquinones, anthrapyrazoles, perylenequinones, xanthenes, cyanines, acridines, phenoxazines and phenothiazines. They have shown certain phototherapeutic advantages over the presently used porphyrins. Some anthraquinones, perylenequinones, cyanines, phenoxazines and phenothiazines exhibit strong light absorption in the 'phototherapeutic window' (600-1000 nm), high photosensitizing efficacy and low delayed skin photosensitivity. Some of the nonporphyrin photosensitizers (such as rhodamine 123, merocyanine 540 and some cyanine cationic dyes) demonstrate higher selectivity for tumor cells. They can also be explored in connection with selective carcinoma photolysis strategy based on mitochondrion-, lysosome- or DNA-directed localization mode.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center