Strategies to potentiate immune response after photodynamic therapy

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

1 Citation (Scopus)


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has been used as a cancer therapy for forty years but has not yet advanced to a mainstream cancer treatment. Although PDT has been shown to be an efficient photochemical way to destroy local tumors by a combination of non-toxic dyes and harmless visible light, it is its additional effects in mediating the stimulation of the host immune system that gives PDT a great potential to become more widely used. Although the stimulation of tumor-specific cytotoxic T-cells that can destroy distant tumor deposits after PDT has been reported in some animal models, it remains the exception rather than the rule. This realization has prompted several investigators to test various combination approaches that could potentiate the immune recognition of tumor antigens that have been released after PDT. Some of these combination approaches use immunostimulants including various microbial preparations that activate Toll-like receptors and other receptors for pathogen associated molecular patterns. Other approaches use cytokines and growth factors whether directly administered or genetically encoded. Other promising approaches involve depleting regulatory T-cells and epigenetic reversal agents. We believe that by understanding the methods employed by tumors to evade immune response and neutralizing them, more precise ways of potentiating PDT-induced immunity can be devised.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiophotonics and Immune Responses X
EditorsWei R. Chen
ISBN (Electronic)9781628414141
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventBiophotonics and Immune Responses X - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 9 Feb 201510 Feb 2015

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceBiophotonics and Immune Responses X
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • Anti-tumor immunity
  • Cytotoxic T cells
  • Dendritic cells
  • Immunostimulants
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • T-regulatory cells
  • Tumor antigens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomaterials
  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Imaging


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