Photoimmunotherapy and irradiance modulation reduce chemotherapy cycles and toxicity in a murine model for ovarian carcinomatosis: perspective and results

Isr J Chem. 2012 Sep;52(8-9):776-787. doi: 10.1002/ijch.201200016.


Significant toxicities from multiple cycles of chemotherapy often cause delays or early termination of treatment, leading to poor outcomes in ovarian cancer patients. Complementary modalities that potentiate the efficacy of traditional agents with fewer cycles and less toxicity are needed. Photodynamic therapy is a mechanistically-distinct modality that synergizes with chemo and biologic agents. A combination regimen with a clinically relevant chemotherapy cocktail (cisplatin + paclitaxel) and anti-EGFR targeted photoimmunotherapy (PIT) is evaluated in a murine model for ovarian carcinomatosis. Mice received either 1 or 2 chemotherapy cycles followed by PIT with a chlorine6-Erbitux photoimmunoconjugate and 25 J/cm2 light. PIT + 1 cycle of chemotherapy significantly reduced tumor burden, comparable to multiple chemotherapy cycles. Relative to 1 cycle of chemotherapy, the addition of PIT did not cause significant mouse weight loss, whereas 2 cycles of chemotherapy led to a significant reduction in weight. Irradiance-dependence on PIT efficacy was a function of the conjugation chemistry, providing an additional variable for optimization of PIT outcome.