Investigation of nano immunotherapy drug delivery in lung cancer cells

C. A. Kruger, M. G. Mokwena, H. Abrahamse

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Lung cancer has high incidence and mortality rates worldwide and so there is strong need for the development of novel therapies. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a photochemotherapeutic cancer treatment that utilizes a photosensitizer (PS) drug that, when activated by laser light at a specific wavelength, yields reactive oxygen species, which in turn induces cell death. However, due to the passive diffusion of PSs, normal surrounding cells are sometimes affected and their targeted concentrations in cancer cells tends to be minimal, thus limiting the effectiveness of this treatment. Therefore, a multicomponent drug targeting strategy is often applied to improve PS specific delivery and concentration in cancer cells, which in turn can improve the effectiveness of PDT. The intention of this study was to improve the PS drug delivery of Zn(II) Phthalocyanine tetrasulfonic acid (ZnPcS4) in lung cancer cells, by enhancing its chemical structure. ZnPcS4 was successfully conjugated to pegylated gold nanoparticles in order to maximize its solubility and stability, as well as bound to specific active tumour-associated antibody-antigens (Cetuximab: Anti-EGFR1 Ab) to aid specific targeted PS delivery. Within in vitro cultured lung cancer cells, this molecular drug delivery system noted improved and specific sub-cellular location of ZnPcS4. Furthermore, after conducting in vitro PDT experiments, a significant amount of cell death and cytotoxicity was found. Overall, this nano immunotherapy drug conjugation combination of ZnPcS4 with AuNP and Cetuximab, proved to enhance concentrated PS uptake in lung cancer cells and so improve PDT treatment outcomes for this form of cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication17th International Photodynamic Association World Congress
EditorsTayyaba Hasan
ISBN (Electronic)9781510628335
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event17th International Photodynamic Association World Congress 2019 - Cambridge, United States
Duration: 28 Jun 20194 Jul 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


Conference17th International Photodynamic Association World Congress 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Active drug targeting
  • Lung cancer
  • Nanoparticles
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Photosensitizers
  • Zn(II) Phthalocyanine tetrasulfonic acid (ZnPcS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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