Photodynamic Therapy with Photofrin Reduces Invasiveness of Malignant Human Glioma Cells

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In this study we investigated the influence of Photofrin-based photodynamic therapy (PDT) on the migration of two human glioma cell lines in vitro. U87 and U25ln tumour cells were treated with Photofrin at various doses and subjected to a fixed optical (632 nm) dose of 100 mJ/cm2. Photofrin cytotoxicity was determined using MTT and colony forming assays. Using a matrigel artificial basement membrane migration assay, we demonstrated that low doses of subcytotoxic PDT treatment, such as PDT with 2.5 µg/ml Photofrin on U87 cells and 1 µg/ml on U25ln cells, significantly (p<0.001) inhibited in vitro migration of both cell lines. Furthermore, in a qualitative spheroid confrontation assay, subcytotoxic PDT of co-cultures between tumour spheroids and brain aggregates resulted in an absence of progressive tumour invasion and destruction of the brain aggregate. In conclusion, our data indicate that low-dose subcytotoxic PDT with Photofrin significantly inhibits invasiveness of U87 and U25ln cells.

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Paper received 8 May 2002; accepted after revision 19 June 2002.

Correspondence to: Michael Chopp, PhD, Department of Neurology, Henry Ford Hospital, 2799 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit, MI 48202, USA. Tel: 313-916-3936; Fax: 313-916-1318; e-mail:

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Jiang, F., Chopp, M., Katakowski, M. et al. Photodynamic Therapy with Photofrin Reduces Invasiveness of Malignant Human Glioma Cells. Lasers Med Sci 17, 280–288 (2002) doi:10.1007/s101030200041

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  • Keywords: Glioma; In vitro migration; Photodynamic therapy; PDT; Tumour invasion; Tumour migration