Porphyrin photosensitizers in photodynamic therapy and its applications

Jiayuan Kou, Dou Dou and Liming Yang _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:81591-81603. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.20189

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Jiayuan Kou1,2, Dou Dou3 and Liming Yang1

1Department of Pathophysiology, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, PR China

2Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, PR China

3Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, PR China

Correspondence to:

Liming Yang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: porphyrin photosensitizers, photodynamic therapy, tumor, application

Received: April 25, 2017     Accepted: July 29, 2017     Published: August 11, 2017


In 1841, the extraction of hematoporphyrin from dried blood by removing iron marked the birth of the photosensitizer. The last twenty years has witnessed extensive research in the application of photodynamic therapy (PDT) in tumor-bearing (or other diseases) animal models and patients. The period has seen development of photosensitizers from the first to the third generation, and their evolution from simple to more complex entities. This review focuses on porphyrin photosensitizers and their effect on tumors, mediated via several pathways involved in cell necrosis, apoptosis or autophagic cell death, and the preventive and therapeutic application of PDT against atherosclerosis.

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