Multifunctional sonosensitizers in sonodynamic cancer therapy
Phototherapy, including photodynamic therapy and photothermal therapy, has the potential to treat several types of cancer. However, to be an effective anticancer treatment, it has to overcome limitations, such as low penetration depth, low target specificity, and resistance conferred by the local tumor microenvironment. As a non-invasive technique, low-intensity ultrasound has been widely used in clinical diagnosis as it exhibits deeper penetration into the body compared to light. Recently, sonodynamic therapy (SDT), a combination of low-intensity ultrasound with a chemotherapeutic agent (sonosensitizer), has been explored as a promising alternative for cancer therapy. As all known cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, photodynamic therapy, photothermal therapy, immunotherapy, and drug delivery have been advanced independently enough to complement others substantially, the combination of these therapeutic modalities with SDT is opportune. This review article highlights the recent advances in SDT in terms of sonosensitizers and their formulations and anticancer therapeutic efficacy. Also discussed is the potential of SDT in combination with other modalities to address unmet needs in precision medicine.