Acridine orange inhibits pulmonary metastasis of mouse osteosarcoma

Anticancer Res. 2011 Dec;31(12):4163-8.


Although the survival of patients with osteosarcoma has improved following development of chemotherapy and surgery, the presence of pulmonary metastases indicate a poor prognosis. We developed photodynamic and radiodynamic therapies with acridine orange (AO-PDT and AO-RDT) for minimally invasive surgery to treat musculoskeletal sarcomas and reported a good clinical outcome of local control and limb function. We investigated the effect of AO-PDT using flash-wave light (FWL) on pulmonary metastasis of mouse osteosarcoma. In in vitro and in vivo studies, AO alone and AO-PDT significantly inhibited cell invasion and the growth of pulmonary metastases from primary mouse osteosarcoma. AO may have a specific metastasis-inhibitory effect, different from the effect of AO-PDT. The fluorovisualization effect on pulmonary metastases following intravenous AO administration showed that pulmonary metastases localized on the lung surface were recognized as brilliant green lesions. In conclusion, AO-PDT using FWL inhibited cell invasion and pulmonary metastases in mouse osteosarcoma; therefore, this treatment modality might be applicable for treating pulmonary metastasis from malignant musculoskeletal tumors in humans.

MeSH terms

  • Acridine Orange / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Fluorescent Dyes / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Mice
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Osteosarcoma / drug therapy*
  • Osteosarcoma / metabolism
  • Osteosarcoma / pathology
  • Photochemistry / methods
  • Prognosis
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Acridine Orange