A promising anticancer drug: a photosensitizer based on the porphyrin skeleton
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a minimally invasive combination of treatments that treat tumors and other diseases by using photosensitizers, light and oxygen to produce cytotoxic reactive oxygen species (ROS) inducing tumor cell apoptosis. Photosensitizers are the key part of PDT for clinical application and experimental research, and most of them are porphyrin compounds at present. Due to their unique affinity for tumor tissues, porphyrins are not only excellent photosensitizers, but also good carriers to transport other active drugs into tumor tissues, which can exert synergistic anticancer effects of PDT and chemotherapy. This article reviews the clinical development of porphyrin photosensitizers and the research status of porphyrin containing bioactive groups. Finally, future perspectives and the current challenges of photosensitizers based on the porphyrin skeleton are discussed.