Effects of photodynamic therapy with hypericin in mice bearing highly invasive solid tumors

Michael Blank, Gad Lavie, Mathilda Mandel, Yona Keisari*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The tumoricidal properties of photodynamic therapy (PDT) with hypericin (HY) were evaluated in a highly metastatic adenocarcinoma (DA3Hi) and anaplastic squamous cell carcinoma (SQ2) tumors in vivo. Photosensitization of the tumor site with hypericin (HY-PDT) reduced primary tumor development and significantly prolonged the survival of tumor-bearing (TB) mice. Of these two tumors the squamous cell carcinoma emerged as more sensitive to HY-PDT compared with DA3Hi adenocarcinoma both in vitro and in vivo. HY-PDT caused extensive tumor necrosis that was followed by local, intratumoral, and systemic inflammatory reactions. Analyses of cytokine mRNA profiles reveal increases in mRNA levels of expression confined to inflammation-related cytokines both within the tumor and also systemically (measured in spleens). However, there was no evidence for any HY-PDT-induced antitumoral immune reactions. Our results suggest that PDT with hypericin can be considered as a supplementary treatment in the management of some invasive and metastatic cancers such as squamous carcinoma and similar tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-418
Number of pages10
JournalOncology Research
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - 2000


  • Cytokines
  • Hypericin
  • Inflammation
  • Metastases
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • RT-PCR


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