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Development of a Tumor-Specific Photoactivatable Doxorubicin Prodrug


Corresponding author email: (Albert W. Girotti)


This is a retrospective highlight on the publication by Ibsen and coworkers: Localized In Vivo Activation of a Photoactivatable Doxorubicin Prodrug in Deep Tumor Tissue, which appeared in a preceding issue of Photochem. Photobiol. (2013, 89:698–708). The authors describe the synthesis and properties of a novel doxorubicin (DOX) prodrug, DOX-PCB, which contains a photocleavable linker group. Systemic administration of the prodrug to a tumor-bearing animal followed by LED/fiber optic 365 nm light delivery allowed active DOX to be released site specifically in the tumor area. This elegant and timely study provides compelling evidence that photocleavable DOX-PCB can eliminate many of the toxic side effects of DOX that have plagued clinical use of this highly effective antitumor drug for many years.

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