A light in multidrug resistance: photodynamic treatment of multidrug-resistant tumors

J Biomed Sci. 2003 Jul-Aug;10(4):361-6. doi: 10.1007/BF02256427.


The major drawback of cancer chemotherapy is the development of multidrug-resistant (MDR) tumor cells, which are cross-resistant to a broad range of structurally and functionally unrelated agents, making it difficult to treat these tumors. In the last decade, a number of authors have studied the effects of photodynamic therapy (PDT), a combination of visible light with photosensitizing agents, on MDR cells. The results, although still inconclusive, have raised the possibility of treating MDR tumors by PDT. This review examines the growing literature concerning the responses of MDR cells to PDT, while stressing the need for the development of new photosensitizers that possess the necessary characteristics for the photodynamic treatment of this class of tumor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1 / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple*
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm* / drug effects
  • Hematoporphyrin Photoradiation*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Photochemotherapy*
  • Photosensitizing Agents / metabolism
  • Photosensitizing Agents / pharmacology*
  • Photosensitizing Agents / therapeutic use
  • Porphyrins / metabolism
  • Porphyrins / pharmacology
  • Porphyrins / therapeutic use
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1
  • Photosensitizing Agents
  • Porphyrins