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Near-infrared Transillumination and Photodynamic Therapy Using Hypericin in Animal Laryngeal Tumors



We aimed to validate a pilot study of photodiagnosis using near infrared (NIR) transillumination and assess the clinical efficacy of hypericin-mediated photodynamic therapy (HYP-PDT) in a rabbit laryngeal cancer model in order to develop a novel therapeutic modality with complete remission and preservation of the functional organ.


(1) In vitro study: VX tumor cells were subcultured and subjected to HYP-PDT. (2) In vivo study: A laryngeal cancer model was developed in which 12 rabbits were inoculated with a VX tumor suspension in the submucosal area of the left vocal fold using a transoral approach. All rabbits underwent NIR transillumination using light with a wavelength of 780 nm. The survival periods of the three treatment groups (6 rabbits in Group A: HYP-PDT, 3 each in Groups B and C: laser irradiation or HYP administration only) were analyzed.


The higher the HYP concentration, the lower the VX cell viability in response to HYP-PDT using 590 nm LED. Following HYP-PDT, small tumors in Group A-1 rabbits healed completely and the animals demonstrated a long survival period, and larger tumors in Group A-2 healed partially with a survival period that extended over 3 weeks after inoculation. The survival of Groups B and C were not different over the first 3 weeks of the study, and were shorter than in Group A.


We found HYP-PDT could be a curative therapy for early-stage cancers that may also preserve organ function, and may inhibit tumor progression and metastasis during advanced stages of laryngeal cancer.

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This study was supported by a grant from the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2019M3E5D1A02070860).

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Correspondence to Yeh-Chan Ahn or Chulho Oak.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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The animal studies were performed after receiving approval of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUS) at Kosin University College of Medicine (IACUC approval No. KMAP 15-07).

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Lee, H., Kim, S.W., Kwon, D.Y. et al. Near-infrared Transillumination and Photodynamic Therapy Using Hypericin in Animal Laryngeal Tumors. Tissue Eng Regen Med (2021).

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  • Hypericin
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Laryngeal cancer