Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a promising medical treatment that combines the use of a light-sensitive medication and a light source to destroy abnormal cells.
PDT is recognised as a treatment strategy which is both minimally invasive and minimally toxic.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a treatment modality increasingly used within various medical specialties since the 1960s.
The treatment is based on photoreactive chemicals that are specifically absorbed by malignant tissue. These chemicals are then exposed to a specific light and react to become toxic to targeted abnormal cells. PDT has proven ability to kill malignant and microbial cells, including bacteria, fungi and viruses.
Photodynamic Therapies are currently being used in the treatment of some wet age-related macular degeneration, and various skin conditions including basal cell carcinomas (BCCs), squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), actinic keratoses, Bowen's disease, psoriasis, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, acne and photorejuvenation of wrinkles.
Most modern PDT applications involve three key components: a photosensitizer, a light source and tissue oxygen. The combination of these three components leads to the chemical destruction of tissues which have which taken up the photosensitizer and have been exposed to light with a specific wavelength.
Abnormal cells are killed by reactive oxygen species produced by the photosensitizer : free radicals (Type I PDT) generated through electron abstraction or transfer from a substrate molecule and highly reactive state of oxygen known as singlet oxygen (Type II PDT).
Synaps’ research programs aims to adapt photodynamic therapies to the treatment of glioblastoma, a most severe and frequent brain tumour type.
In particular, Synaps' research focuses on 5-Aminolevulinic Acid (5-ALA) PDT. 5-ALA induces a relatively specific photosensitizer accumulation: protoporphyrin IX (PPIX). The photosensitizer is present only in tumor cells and leads to their specific destruction upon illumination, while sparing healthy tissues.
5-ALA PDT is an emerging modality of care in cancer therapies. Alongside or alternatively to chemotherapy, hormonotherapy, radiotherapy and biotherapy, 5-ALA PDT might be an interesting modality of therapeutic range against cancers. Furthermore, this treatment modality is without any loss of opportunity for the patient who can benefit of other treatments modalities or repetitive 5-ALA PDT with limited side effects.