Comparing the efficacy of photodynamic and sonodynamic therapy in non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancer

C Mcewan, Heather Nesbitt, Dean Nicholas, ON Kavanagh, K McKenna, P Loan, IG Jack, AP McHale, JF Callan

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Sonodynamic therapy (SDT) involves the activation of a non-toxic sensitiser drug using low-intensity ultrasound to produce cytotoxic reactive oxygen species (ROS). Given the low tissue attenuation of ultrasound,SDT provides a significant benefit over the more established photodynamic therapy (PDT) as itenables activation of sensitisers at a greater depth within human tissue. In this manuscript, we compare the efficacy of aminolevulinic acid (ALA) mediated PDT and SDT in a squamous cell carcinoma (A431) cellline as well as the ability of these treatments to reduce the size of A431 ectopic tumours in mice.Similarly, the relative cytotoxic ability of Rose Bengal mediated PDT and SDT was investigated in aB16-melanoma cell line and also in a B16 ectopic tumour model. The results reveal no statistically significant difference in efficacy between ALA mediated PDT or SDT in the non-melanoma model while RoseBengal mediated SDT was significantly more efficacious than PDT in the melanoma model. This difference in efficacy was, at least in part, attributed to the dark pigmentation of the melanoma cells that effectivelyfiltered the excitation light preventing it from activating the sensitiser while the use of ultrasound circumventedthis problem. These results suggest SDT may provide a better outcome than PDT when treating highly pigmented cancerous skin lesions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3023-3028
Number of pages6
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number13
Early online date12 May 2016
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jul 2016


  • PDT
  • SDT
  • Melanoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Ultrasound
  • Light
  • Melanin


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