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Title: Enhancement of selectivity for photodynamic therapy
Author: Bedwell, Joanne
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1994
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Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is a technique for producing localised tissue damage with low power light following prior administration of a photosensitising drug. The promise of PDT has been based on the selective retention of photosensitisers by tumours, but this aspect has been over-emphasised with a maximum ratio of photosensitiser concentration of 3:1, tumour to normal, for extracranial tumours and current drugs. This makes selective tumour necrosis difficult to achieve. This thesis explores ways in which selectivity may be improved. Aluminium sulphonated phthalocyanine (AlSPc) has better photochemical properties than the widely used HpD and Photofrin II, but has the same tumour selectivity, although the ratio was improved marginally using its disulphonated component. However, when used in conjunction with the radioprotective drug W7, in a rat colon cancer model, tumour necrosis was the same as without W7 while there was no damage to adjacent normal colon. A radical new approach is to give 5-aminolaevulinic acid (ALA) which induces endogenous production of the photosensitiser protoporphyrin IX. This improves selectivity in the rat colon cancer to 6:1 (tumour to normal mucosa), but also sensitises the mucosa selectively compared with the underlying muscle (10:1), giving a tumour to muscle ratio of 60:1. This has enormous potential for treating small tumours or areas of dysplasia in a range of hollow organs. ALA also has the major advantages of a short optimum drug to light time (typically 4-6 hours), short duration of skin sensitivity (approximately 24 hours) and it can be given orally with minimal systemic toxicity. This work has also shown in vitro that PDT with AlSPc sensitisation can kill helicohacter pylori at doses unlikely to affect gastric mucosa. In conclusion, by careful choice of photosensitising agents and treatment regimes, it is possible to limit PDT effects to abnormal tissues, and even if there is some normal tissue damage, in most cases, this heals without significant sequelae. In the gastrointestinal tract, PDT may have a role in the eradication of small tumours unsuitable for surgery, in the treatment of dysplasia and possibly even in the management of conditions related to helicobacter pylori infection. There is now sufficient information to start clinical trials with ALA.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available