Photoimmunotherapy Lowers Need for Chemotherapy

Ovarian cancer patients must often undergo multiple cycles of chemotherapy, resulting in toxic side effects that either delay treatment or cause premature cessation of the treatment.  Medical scientists have been interested in ways to enhance or potentiate chemo treatments, as this allows fewer treatment cycles and less toxicity.  In this regard, photodynamic therapy is known to synergize with chemo and biologic agents.

In a recent animal study at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine in Boston, Massachusetts (USA), a standard chemo cocktail (cisplatin + paclitaxel) was combined with anti-EGFR targeted photoimmunotherapy, or PIT.  Mice with ovarian carcinomatosis received either 1 or 2 chemotherapy cycles followed by PIT.

They found that PIT plus one cycle of chemotherapy significantly reduced the ovarian tumor burden, and that this outcome was comparable to receiving multiple chemotherapy cycles, as reported in the September 2012 Israel Journal of Chemistry.

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Rizvi I, Dinh TA, Yu W, Chang Y, Sherwood ME, Hasan T.  Photoimmunotherapy and irradiance modulation reduce chemotherapy cycles and toxicity in a murine model for ovarian carcinomatosis: perspective and results.  Isr J Chem. 2012 Sep;52(8-9):776-787.

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