Abstract

In this communication we report on a novel non-invasive methodology in utilizing “soft” energy diagnostic X-rays to indirectly activate a photo-agent utilized in photodynamic therapy (PDT): Photofrin II (Photo II) through X-ray induced luminescence from Gadolinium Oxysulfide (20 micron dimension) particles doped with Terbium: Gd<formula>_{2}</formula>O<formula>_{2}</formula>S:Tb. Photodynamic agents such as Photo II utilized in PDT possess a remarkable property to become preferentially retained within the tumor’s micro-environment. Upon the photo-agent’s activation through (visible light) photon absorption, the agents exert their cellular cytotoxicity through type I and type II pathways through extensive generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS); namely, singlet oxygen <formula>^{1}</formula>O<formula>_{2}</formula>, superoxide anion O<formula>_{2}^{-}</formula>, and hydrogen peroxide H<formula>_{2}</formula>O<formula>_{2}</formula>, within the intra-tumoral environment. Unfortunately, due to shallow visible light penetration depth (∼ 2 mm to 5 mm) in tissues, the current PDT strategy has largely been restricted to the treatment of surface tumors, such as the melanomas. Additional invasive strategies through optical fibers are currently utilized in getting the visible light into the intended deep seated targets within the body for PDT.

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