Photodynamic therapy enhances liposomal doxorubicin distribution in tumors during isolated perfusion of rodent lungs

Eur Surg Res. 2011;47(4):196-204. doi: 10.1159/000330744. Epub 2011 Oct 6.


Background: Photodynamic therapy (PDT) at low drug-light conditions can enhance the transport of intravenously injected macromolecular therapeutics through the tumor vasculature. Here we determined the impact of PDT on the distribution of liposomal doxorubicin (Liporubicin™) administered by isolated lung perfusion (ILP) in sarcomas grown on rodent lungs.

Methods: A syngeneic methylcholanthrene-induced sarcoma cell line was implanted subpleurally in the left lung of Fischer rats. Treatment schemes consisted in ILP alone (400 μg of Liporubicin), low-dose (0.0625 mg/kg Visudyne®, 10 J/cm(2) and 35 mW/cm(2)) and high-dose left lung PDT (0.125 mg/kg Visudyne, 10 J/cm(2) and 35 mW/cm(2)) followed by ILP (400 μg of Liporubicin). The uptake and distribution of Liporubicin in tumor and lung tissues were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography and fluorescence microscopy in each group.

Results: Low-dose PDT significantly improved the distribution of Liporubicin in tumors compared to high-dose PDT (p < 0.05) and ILP alone (p < 0.05). However, both PDT pretreatments did not result in a higher overall drug uptake in tumors or a higher tumor-to-lung drug ratio compared to ILP alone.

Conclusions: Intraoperative low-dose Visudyne-mediated PDT enhances liposomal doxorubicin distribution administered by ILP in sarcomas grown on rodent lungs which is predicted to improve tumor control by ILP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / analysis
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / pharmacology
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Doxorubicin / analysis
  • Doxorubicin / pharmacology
  • Doxorubicin / therapeutic use*
  • Liposomes / administration & dosage
  • Lung / chemistry
  • Lung / drug effects
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Perfusion
  • Photochemotherapy*
  • Photosensitizing Agents / pharmacology
  • Photosensitizing Agents / therapeutic use
  • Porphyrins / pharmacology
  • Porphyrins / therapeutic use
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Sarcoma / drug therapy*
  • Sarcoma / pathology
  • Verteporfin


  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Liposomes
  • Photosensitizing Agents
  • Porphyrins
  • Verteporfin
  • Doxorubicin