Mechanisms of porphyrinoid localization in tumors

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The photosensitizing and pharmacokinetic properties of porphyrin-type compounds have been investigated for nearly a century. In the last decade, two porphyrin derivatives were approved in the U.S.A. and in several other countries for the photodynamic treatment of various lesions. An overview of the different mechanisms for preferential porphyrinoid localization in malignant tumors is presented herein. Several uptake pathways are possible for each photosensitizer, which are determined by its structure, mode of delivery and tumor type. Comparisons of the different mechanisms and correlations with the structure of the sensitizer are presented. Current delivery systems for porphyrin sensitizers are described, as well as recent strategies for enhancing their tumor-specificity, including conjugation to a carrier system that selectively targets a tumor-associated receptor or antigen. Copyright © 2002 Society of Porphyrins & Phthalocyanines.

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Journal of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines

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