Preliminary Studies on a More Effective Phototoxic Agent than Hematoporphyrin
Richter, A.M., Kelly, B., Chow, J., Liu, D.J., Towers, G.H.N., David Dolphin, Levy, J.G.
J. Natl. Cancer Inst.
Phototoxicity of benzoporphyrin derivative (BPD) has been tested in vitro and compared with that of hematoporphyrin (HP). After 1-hour activation with visible light, BPD was 10 times more cytotoxic than HP toward human adherent cell lines: A549 lung cancer, Calu-1 lung carcinoma, and CCD-19Lu normal lung, killing 100% of cells at the concentration of 70 ng/ml. Under the same conditions, BPD was 10-70 times more cytotoxic than HP toward nonadherent cells and cell lines. Tested were human leukemia cell lines HL60, K562, and KG1, normal human lymphocytes, and mouse mastocytoma cell line P815. The concentrations required to kill 100% of cells varied between 10 and 500 ng BPD/ml and between 0.2 and 10 mug HP/ml. The difference between the nonadherent cell lines in respect to their sensitivity to phototoxicity of both BPD and HP seemed to be related to the cell sizes, with the smallest cells being the most vulnerable. The most attractive characteristic of BPD in addition to its powerful phototoxicity is its maximum absorption around 700 nm, which is in the range of wavelengths penetrating tissues the best. This characteristic alone could make BPD a drug of choice in cancer photodynamic therapy when the safety of its use is ensured. Preliminary tests in vivo have shown that DBA/2J mice can tolerate a single ip injection of 20-60 μg BPD as well as the same dose of HP.