Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is well-known in treating cancer that can selectively kill the cancer cells by utilizing chemical compound called photosensitizer (PS) under a particular light irradiation. This is especially true for cancers like skin cancer, prostate cancer and bladder cancer. Currently, only a few PS drugs for PDT are approved by FDA or under-clinical trials.
In light of an unmet need for PS drugs’ improvement in terms of cancer cell specificity, depth of light penetration and safety, Prof. Wong Ka Leung and his research team have invented a new generation of PS drug, which targets cancer cells specifically. This PS drug is porphyrin-lanthanide complex with specific functional groups which are conjugated with carefully chosen peptides so as to increase cancer cells specificity. The drug is safe as it is used at a lower light energy. It is highly selective and it will only destroy cancer cells instead of normal cells. Therefore, it will not induce adverse effects in patients during and after the treatment.
Besides, it can be used with MRI for early-stage disease diagnosis as it provides high-resolution images for accurate diagnosis of cancer.
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