Carotenoporphyrins as selective photodiagnostic agents for tumours

E. Reddi, A. Segalla, G. Jori, P. K. Kerrigan, P. A. Liddell, A. L. Moore, T. A. Moore, D. Gust

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The covalent binding of a carotene moiety to one phenyl ring and meso-tetraphenyl-substituted porphyrins (see Figure 1) efficiently quenches the photosensitising activity of the porphyrin while a relatively large yield of fluorescence emission around 650 nm is retained. Pharmacokinetic studies performed with two carotenoporphyrins (CPs) and the corresponding porphyrins (Ps) in Balb/c mice bearing an MS-2 fibrosarcoma show that the two Ps give a high selectivity of tumour localisation (tumour/peritumoral tissue ratios of dye concentration ranging between c. 30 and 90 at 24 h after injection of 4.2-8.4 µmol kg-1 in a Cremophor emulsion) and photosensitive tumour necrosis upon red light irradiation. For the same injected doses, the two CPs show no tumour-photosensitising activity even though they localise in the tumour in concentrations of the order of 10-40 µ g-1 at 24 h with tumour/peritumoral ratios larger than 10. Thus, the fluorescence emitted by these CPs in the tumour can be used for photodiagnostic purposes with no risk of skin photosensitisation. However, this approach is presently limited by the large accumulation and prolonged retention of the CPs in the liver and spleen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-45
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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