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Liposomal photosensitizers: potential platforms for anticancer photodynamic therapy

Muehlmann,L.A.; Joanitti,G.A.; Silva,J.R.; Longo,J.P.F.; Azevedo,R.B.
Fonte: Associação Brasileira de Divulgação Científica Publicador: Associação Brasileira de Divulgação Científica
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica Formato: text/html
Publicado em 01/08/2011 EN
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Photodynamic therapy is a well-established and clinically approved treatment for several types of cancer. Antineoplastic photodynamic therapy is based on photosensitizers, i.e., drugs that absorb photons translating light energy into a chemical potential that damages tumor tissues. Despite the encouraging clinical results with the approved photosensitizers available today, the prolonged skin phototoxicity, poor selectivity for diseased tissues, hydrophobic nature, and extended retention in the host organism shown by these drugs have stimulated researchers to develop new formulations for photodynamic therapy. In this context, due to their amphiphilic characteristic (compatibility with both hydrophobic and hydrophilic substances), liposomes have proven to be suitable carriers for photosensitizers, improving the photophysical properties of the photosensitizers. Moreover, as nanostructured drug delivery systems, liposomes improve the efficiency and safety of antineoplastic photodynamic therapy, mainly by the classical phenomenon of extended permeation and retention. Therefore, the association of photosensitizers with liposomes has been extensively studied. In this review, both current knowledge and future perspectives on liposomal carriers for antineoplastic photodynamic therapy are critically discussed.