Photochemical internalization in bladder cancer - development of an orthotopic in vivo model

Photochem Photobiol Sci. 2017 Nov 8;16(11):1664-1676. doi: 10.1039/c7pp00176b.


The possibility of using photochemical internalization (PCI) to enhance the effects of the cytotoxic drug bleomycin is investigated, together with photophysical determination and outlines of a possible treatment for intravesical therapy of bladder cancer. In vitro experiments indicated that the employment of PCI technology using the novel photosensitizer TPCS2a® can enhance the cytotoxic effect of bleomycin in bladder cancer cells. Furthermore, experiments in an orthotopic in vivo bladder cancer model show an effective reduction in both the necrotic area and the bladder weight after TPCS2a based photodynamic therapy (PDT). The tumor selectivity and PDT effects may be sufficient to destroy tumors without damaging the detrusor muscle layer. Our results present a possible new treatment strategy for non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, with the intravesical instillation of the photosensitizer and bleomycin followed by illumination through an optic fiber by using a catheter.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bleomycin / chemistry
  • Bleomycin / pharmacology*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Female
  • Light*
  • Photochemical Processes
  • Photosensitizing Agents / chemistry
  • Photosensitizing Agents / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / pathology


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Photosensitizing Agents
  • Bleomycin