A major challenge in photodynamic cancer therapy (PDT) is avoiding PDT-induced hypoxia, which can lead to cancer recurrence and progression through activation of various angiogenic factors and significantly reduce treatment outcomes. Reported here is an acetazolamide (AZ)-conjugated BODIPY photosensitizer (AZ-BPS) designed to mitigate the effects of PDT-based hypoxia by combining the benefits of anti-angiogenesis therapy with PDT. AZ-BPS showed specific affinity to aggressive cancer cells (MDA-MB-231 cells) that overexpress carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX). It displayed enhanced photocytotoxicity compared to a reference compound, BPS, which is an analogous PDT agent that lacks an acetazolamide unit. AZ-BPS also displayed an enhanced in vivo efficacy in a xenograft mouse tumor regrowth model relative to BPS, an effect attributed to inhibition of tumor angiogenesis by both PDT-induced ROS generation and CAIX knockdown. AZ-BPS was evaluated successfully in clinical samples collected from breast cancer patients. We thus believe that the combined approach described here represents an attractive therapeutic approach to targeting CAIX-overexpressing tumors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry