Simultaneous photodiagnosis and photodynamic treatment of metastatic melanoma

Channay Naidoo, Cherie Ann Kruger, Heidi Abrahamse

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Metastatic melanoma (MM) has a poor prognosis and is attributed to late diagnoses only when metastases has already occurred. Thus, early diagnosis is crucial to improve its overall treatment efficacy. The standard diagnostic tools for MM are incisional biopsies and/or fine needle aspiration biopsies, while standard treatments involve surgery, chemotherapy, or irradiation therapy. The combination of photodynamic diagnosis (PDD) and therapy (PDT) utilizes a photosensitizer (PS) that, when excited by light of a low wavelength, can be used for fluorescent non-destructive diagnosis. However, when the same PS is activated at a higher wavelength of light, it can be cytotoxic and induce tumor destruction. This paper focuses on PS drugs that have been used for PDD as well as PDT treatment of MM. Furthermore, it emphasizes the need for continued investigation into enhanced PS delivery via active biomarkers and passive nanoparticle systems. This should improve PS drug absorption in MM cells and increase effectiveness of combinative photodynamic methods for the enhanced diagnosis and treatment of MM can become a reality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3153
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2019


  • 5-Aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA)
  • Hypericin
  • Metastatic melanoma (MM)
  • Nanoparticles (NP)
  • Photodynamic diagnosis (PDD)
  • Photodynamic therapy (PDT)
  • Photosensitizer (PS)
  • Phthalocyanines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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