Photonanomedicine: a convergence of photodynamic therapy and nanotechnology
As clinical nanomedicine has emerged over the past two decades, phototherapeutic advancements using nanotechnology have also evolved and impacted disease management. Because of unique features attributable to the light activation process of molecules, photonanomedicine (PNM) holds significant promise as a personalized, image-guided therapeutic approach for cancer and non-cancer pathologies. The convergence of advanced photochemical therapies such as photodynamic therapy (PDT) and imaging modalities with sophisticated nanotechnologies is enabling the ongoing evolution of fundamental PNM formulations, such as Visudyne®, into progressive forward-looking platforms that integrate theranostics (therapeutics and diagnostics), molecular selectivity, the spatiotemporally controlled release of synergistic therapeutics, along with regulated, sustained drug dosing. Considering that the envisioned goal of these integrated platforms is proving to be realistic, this review will discuss how PNM has evolved over the years as a preclinical and clinical amalgamation of nanotechnology with PDT. The encouraging investigations that emphasize the potent synergy between photochemistry and nanotherapeutics, in addition to the growing realization of the value of these multi-faceted theranostic nanoplatforms, will assist in driving PNM formulations into mainstream oncological clinical practice as a necessary tool in the medical armamentarium.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Nanoscale approaches for cancer diagnosis and treatment