Jin CS, Overchuk M, Cui L, Wilson BC, Bristow RG, Chen J & Zheng G
The Prostate, 2016

The Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)-guided focal laser therapy has shown early promise in Phase 1 trial treating low/intermediate-risk localized prostate cancer (PCa), but the lack of tumor selectivity and low efficiency of heat generation remain as drawbacks of agent-free laser therapy. Intrinsic multifunctional porphyrin-nanoparticles (porphysomes) have been exploited to treat localized PCa by MRI-guided focal photothermal therapy (PTT) with significantly improved efficiency and tumor selectivity over prior methods of PTT, providing an effective and safe alternative to active surveillance or radical therapy.

The tumor accumulation of porphysomes chelated with copper-64 was determined and compared with the clinic standard 18F-FDG in an orthotropic PCa mouse model by positron emission tomography (PET) imaging, providing quantitative assessment for PTT dosimetry. The PTT was conducted with MRI-guided light delivery and monitored by MR thermometry, mimicking the clinical protocol. The efficacy of treatment and adverse effects to surround tissues were evaluated by histology analysis and tumor growth in survival study via MRI.

Porphysomes showed superior tumor-to-prostate selectivity over 18F-FDG (6:1 vs. 0.36:1). MR thermometry detected tumor temperature increased to ≥55°C within 2 min (671 nm at 500 mW), but minimal increase in surrounding tissues. Porphysome enabled effective PTT eradication of tumor without damaging adjacent organs in orthotropic PCa mouse model.

Porphysome-enabled MRI-guided focal PTT could be an effective and safe approach to treat PCa at low risk of progression, thus addressing the significant unmet clinical needs and benefiting an ever-growing number of patients who may be over-treated and risk unnecessary side effects from radical therapies.

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