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Ailioaie, LM; Ailioaie, C; Litscher, G.
Latest Innovations and Nanotechnologies with Curcumin as a Nature-Inspired Photosensitizer Applied in the Photodynamic Therapy of Cancer.
Pharmaceutics. 2021; 13(10): Doi: 10.3390/pharmaceutics13101562 [OPEN ACCESS]
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Litscher Gerhard

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In the context of the high incidence of cancer worldwide, state-of-the-art photodynamic therapy (PDT) has entered as a usual protocol of attempting to eradicate cancer as a minimally invasive procedure, along with pharmacological resources and radiation therapy. The photosensitizer (PS) excited at certain wavelengths of the applied light source, in the presence of oxygen releases several free radicals and various oxidation products with high cytotoxic potential, which will lead to cell death in irradiated cancerous tissues. Current research focuses on the potential of natural products as a superior generation of photosensitizers, which through the latest nanotechnologies target tumors better, are less toxic to neighboring tissues, but at the same time, have improved light absorption for the more aggressive and widespread forms of cancer. Curcumin incorporated into nanotechnologies has a higher intracellular absorption, a higher targeting rate, increased toxicity to tumor cells, accelerates the activity of caspases and DNA cleavage, decreases the mitochondrial activity of cancer cells, decreases their viability and proliferation, decreases angiogenesis, and finally induces apoptosis. It reduces the size of the primary tumor, reverses multidrug resistance in chemotherapy and decreases resistance to radiation therapy in neoplasms. Current research has shown that the use of PDT and nanoformulations of curcumin has a modulating effect on ROS generation, so light or laser irradiation will lead to excessive ROS growth, while nanocurcumin will reduce the activation of ROS-producing enzymes or will determine the quick removal of ROS, seemingly opposite but synergistic phenomena by inducing neoplasm apoptosis, but at the same time, accelerating the repair of nearby tissue. The latest curcumin nanoformulations have a huge potential to optimize PDT, to overcome major side effects, resistance to chemotherapy, relapses and metastases. All the studies reviewed and presented revealed great potential for the applicability of nanoformulations of curcumin and PDT in cancer therapy.

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
malignant tumors
natural photosensitizer
photobiomodulation (PBM)
photodynamic therapy (PDT)
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