Photodynamic therapy and anti-tumour immunity

Ana P. Castano, Pawel Mroz, Michael R. Hamblin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2219 Scopus citations


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) uses non-toxic photosensitizers and harmless visible light in combination with oxygen to produce cytotoxic reactive oxygen species that kill malignant cells by apoptosis and/or necrosis, shut down the tumour microvasculature and stimulate the host immune system. In contrast to surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy that are mostly immunosuppressive, PDT causes acute inflammation, expression of heat-shock proteins, invasion and infiltration of the tumour by leukocytes, and might increase the presentation of tumour-derived antigens to T cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-545
Number of pages11
JournalNature Reviews Cancer
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A.P.C. was supported by a US Department of Defense CDMRP Breast Cancer Research Grant. M.R.H. was supported by the US National Institutes of Health. We thank T. N. Demidova for help and advice.


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