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Proceedings Paper

Enhancing photodynamic therapy of a metastatic mouse breast cancer by immune stimulation
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Paper Abstract

One in 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer during her lifetime and 40,000 die each year. Deaths are due to tumors that have metastasized despite local control. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a promising cancer treatment in which a photosensitizer (PS) accumulates in tumors and is subsequently activated by visible light of an appropriate wavelength. The energy of the light is transferred to molecular oxygen to produce reactive oxygen species that produce cell death and tumor ablation. Mechanisms include cytotoxicity to tumor cells, shutting down of the tumor vasculature, and the induction of a host immune response. The precise mechanisms involved in the PDT-mediated induction of anti-tumor immunity are not yet understood. Potential contributing factors are alterations in the tumor microenvironment via stimulation of proinflammatory cytokines and direct effects of PDT on the tumor that increase immunogenicity. We have studied PDT of 410.4 variant 4T1 tumors growing in the mammary fat pad (orthotopic) in Balb/c mice and which produce metastasis. We have shown that a PDT regimen that produces vascular shutdown and tumor necrosis leads to initial tumor ablation but the tumors recur at the periphery. We studied the combination of PDT with immunostimulating therapies. Low dose cyclophosphamide (CY) is a specific mechanism to deplete the regulatory T cells (CD4+CD25+), these cells play an important role in the immunosuppression activity of tumors. In combination with PDT that produces release of tumor specific antigens, this immunostimulation may lead to generation of cytotoxic CD8 T-lymphocytes that recognize and destroy the tumor. The second alternative therapy is the use of a novel combination of the immunostimulant CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG-ODN) and PDT. CpG-ODN is recognized by Toll-like receptor 9 and directly or indirectly triggers B cells, NK cells, monocyte-macrophages and dendritic cells to proliferate, mature and secrete cytokines, chemokines and immunoglobulins. Both these novel combinations gave significantly enhanced therapeutic benefit not seen with single treatments alone. Tumors grew more slowly and mice lived significantly longer, although cures were rare. We propose that a rational choice of immune stimulant is an ideal addition to PDT regimens.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 February 2006
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6087, Biophotonics and Immune Responses, 608703 (23 February 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.646242
Show Author Affiliations
Ana P. Castano, Wellman Ctr. for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital (United States)
Harvard Medical School (United States)
Michael R. Hamblin, Wellman Ctr. for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital (United States)
Harvard Medical School (United States)
Harvard-MIT (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6087:
Biophotonics and Immune Responses
Wei R. Chen, Editor(s)

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