Optical techniques using developed laser and optical devices have made a profound impact on modern medicine, with "biomedical optics"becoming an emerging field. Sophisticated technologies have been developed in cancer nanomedicine, such as photothermal therapy and photodynamic therapy, among others. However, single-mode phototherapy cannot completely treat persistent tumors, with the challenges of relapse or metastasis remaining; therefore, combinatorial strategies are being developed. In this review, the role of light in cancer therapy and the challenges of phototherapy are discussed. The development of combinatorial strategies with other therapeutic methods, including chemotherapy, immunotherapy, gene therapy, and radiotherapy, is presented and future directions are further discussed. This review aims to highlight the significance of light in cancer therapy and discuss the combinatorial strategies that show promise in addressing the challenges of phototherapy.
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