J Cancer 2017; 8(11):1979-1987. doi:10.7150/jca.17959

Research Paper

Iron Chelators and Exogenic Photosensitizers. Synergy through Oxidative Stress Gene Expression

Anna Mrozek-Wilczkiewicz1,2✉, Katarzyna Malarz2,3, Marzena Rams-Baron1,2, Maciej Serda3, Daniela Bauer4, Franz-Peter Montforts4, Alicja Ratuszna1,2, Thomas Burley5, Jaroslaw Polanski3, Robert Musiol3✉

1. A. Chełkowski Institute of Physics, University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland
2. Silesian Center for Education and Interdisciplinary Research, University of Silesia in Katowice, Chorzów, Poland
3. Institute of Chemistry, University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland
4. Institute of Organic and Analytical Chemistry, University of Bremen, Germany
5. The Institute of Cancer Research, London, United Kingdom


In non-invasive anticancer photodynamic therapy (PDT), a nontoxic photosensitizer (PS), which is activated by visible light, is used as a magic bullet that selectively destroys cancer cells. Recently, we described the combined therapy of 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA-PDT) with thiosemicarbazone (TSC), i.e. an iron-chelating agent. This resulted in a strong synergistic effect. Herein, we investigated a novel strategy using a combination of PDT consist of the xenobiotic-porphyrin type PS with TSC. We observed a synergistic effect for all of the pairs of TSC-PS. This approach can be rationalized by the fact that both chlorin and TSC can affect the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In order to elucidate the plausible mechanism of action, we also combined the investigated PSs with DFO, which forms complexes that are redox inactive. We detected a slight antagonism or additivity for this combination. This may suggest that the ability of an iron chelator (IC) to participate in the production of ROS and the generation of oxidative stress is important.

Keywords: photodynamic therapy, thiosemicarbazone, photosensitizer, chlorin derivative, combination therapy, oxidative stress

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How to cite this article:
Mrozek-Wilczkiewicz A, Malarz K, Rams-Baron M, Serda M, Bauer D, Montforts FP, Ratuszna A, Burley T, Polanski J, Musiol R. Iron Chelators and Exogenic Photosensitizers. Synergy through Oxidative Stress Gene Expression. J Cancer 2017; 8(11):1979-1987. doi:10.7150/jca.17959. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v08p1979.htm