Neoadjuvant photodynamic therapy augments immediate and prolonged oxaliplatin efficacy in metastatic pancreatic cancer organoids
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Mans Broekgaarden1, Imran Rizvi1, Anne-Laure Bulin1, Ljubica Petrovic2, Ruth Goldschmidt1, Iqbal Massodi1, Jonathan P. Celli2 and Tayyaba Hasan1
1Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA
2Department of Physics, University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA 02125, USA
Tayyaba Hasan, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Keywords: translational therapies; organoid models; experimental medicine; combination therapy; photochemotherapy
Abbreviations: OxPt: oxaliplatin; BPD: benzoporphyrin derivative; PDT: photodynamic therapy; PI: propidium iodide
Received: November 19, 2017 Accepted: January 23, 2018 Published: February 06, 2018
Effective treatment of advanced metastatic disease remains the primary challenge in the management of inoperable pancreatic cancer. Current therapies such as oxaliplatin (OxPt)-based chemotherapy regimens (FOLFIRINOX) provide modest short-term survival improvements, yet with significant toxicity. Photodynamic therapy (PDT), a light-activated cancer therapy, demonstrated clinical promise for pancreatic cancer treatment and enhances conventional chemotherapies with non-overlapping toxicities. This study investigates the capacity of neoadjuvant PDT using a clinically-approved photosensitizer, benzoporphyrin derivative (BPD, verteporfin), to enhance OxPt efficacy in metastatic pancreatic cancer. Treatment effects were evaluated in organotypic three-dimensional (3D) cultures, clinically representative models that bridge the gap between conventional cell cultures and in vivo models. The temporally-spaced, multiparametric analyses demonstrated a superior efficacy for combined PDT+OxPt compared to each monotherapy alone, which was recapitulated on different organotypic pancreatic cancer cultures. The therapeutic benefit of neoadjuvant PDT to OxPt chemotherapy materialized in a time-dependent manner, reducing residual viable tissue and tumor viability in a manner not achievable with OxPt or PDT alone. These findings emphasize the need for intelligent combination therapies and relevant models to evaluate the temporal kinetics of interactions between mechanistically-distinct treatments and highlight the promise of PDT as a neoadjuvant treatment for disseminated pancreatic cancer.
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