Angiogenesis inhibition for the improvement of photodynamic therapy: the revival of a promising idea

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012 Aug;1826(1):53-70. doi: 10.1016/j.bbcan.2012.03.003. Epub 2012 Mar 21.


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a minimally invasive form of treatment, which is clinically approved for the treatment of angiogenic disorders, including certain forms of cancer and neovascular eye diseases. Although the concept of PDT has existed for a long time now, it has never made a solid entrance into the clinical management of cancer. This is likely due to secondary tissue reactions, such as inflammation and neoangiogenesis. The recent development of clinically effective angiogenesis inhibitors has lead to the initiation of research on the combination of PDT with such angiostatic targeted therapies. Preclinical studies in this research field have shown promising results, causing a revival in the field of PDT. This review reports on the current research efforts on PDT and vascular targeted combination therapies. Different combination strategies with angiogenesis inhibition and vascular targeting approaches are discussed. In addition, the concept of increasing PDT selectivity by targeted delivery of photosensitizers is presented. Furthermore, the current insights on sequencing the therapy arms of such combinations will be discussed in light of vascular normalization induced by angiogenesis inhibition.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Endothelial Cells / drug effects
  • Endothelial Cells / pathology
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / drug therapy
  • Photochemotherapy / methods*
  • Photosensitizing Agents / pharmacology
  • Photosensitizing Agents / therapeutic use*


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Photosensitizing Agents