Photosensitizers in prostate cancer therapy

Taher Gheewala, Troy Skwor and Gnanasekar Munirathinam _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:30524-30538. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.15496

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Taher Gheewala1, Troy Skwor2 and Gnanasekar Munirathinam1

1 Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Illinois, College of Medicine, Rockford, IL, USA

2 Department of Chemical and Biological Sciences, Rockford University, Rockford, IL, USA

Correspondence to:

Gnanasekar Munirathinam, email:

Keywords: prostate cancer, photodynamic therapy, photosensitizers

Received: October 29, 2016 Accepted: February 06, 2017 Published: February 18, 2017


The search for new therapeutics for the treatment of prostate cancer is ongoing with a focus on the balance between the harms and benefits of treatment. New therapies are being constantly developed to offer treatments similar to radical therapies, with limited side effects. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a promising strategy in delivering focal treatment in primary as well as post radiotherapy prostate cancer. PDT involves activation of a photosensitizer (PS) by appropriate wavelength of light, generating transient levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Several photosensitizers have been developed with a focus on treating prostate cancer like mTHPC, motexafin lutetium, padoporfin and so on. This article will review newly developed photosensitizers under clinical trials for the treatment of prostate cancer, along with the potential advantages and disadvantages in delivering focal therapy.

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