The onset of inflammation is a well-known physiology in tumors treated with photodynamic therapy (PDT). After PDT, the release of danger signals causes an influx of neutrophils, activation of dendritic cells, and an eventual initiation of the adaptive immune response. However, inflammation also lies at a crucial fulcrum for treatment outcome, as it can stimulate the expression of resistance factors. Therefore, effective treatment with PDT requires an understanding of the holistic contribution of inflammation. Within, we outline two means of studying tumor inflammation in the setting of PDT. Experiments are conducted in murine models of mesothelioma, including those that incorporate surgery prior to PDT or pleural propagation of the disease. First, we use a chemiluminescent agent, luminol, to detect the influx of neutrophils by in vivo molecular imaging. This longitudinal approach allows for the repeated non-invasive monitoring of PDT-induced neutrophil influx. Data clearly identify protocol-specific differences in tumor-associated neutrophil activity. Second, we describe the application of cone-beam CT to detect the fibrosis associated with murine orthotropic mesothelioma models. This approach incorporates novel methods in image segmentation to accurately identify diffuse disease in the thoracic cavity. These studies lay the foundation for future research to correlate long-term response with local PDT-induced inflammation. Such methods in monitoring of inflammation or tumor burden will enable characterization of the consequences of combinatorial therapy (e.g., intraoperative PDT). Resulting data will guide the selection of pharmacological agents or molecular imaging techniques that respectively exploit inflammation for therapeutic or monitoring purposes.
Richard W. Davis, Joann Miller, Cassandra L. Houser, Astero Klampatsa, Tim Jenkins, Keith A. Cengel, Steven M. Albelda, and Theresa M. Busch, "The exploitation of inflammation in photodynamic therapy of pleural cancer (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10047, Optical Methods for Tumor Treatment and Detection: Mechanisms and Techniques in Photodynamic Therapy XXVI, 100470B (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 28, 2017; Published: 19 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2253316.5370262160001.
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