Cancer is a mass of abnormal and detrimental cells in a given part of the body. The main elucidated cause is the uncontrolled growth and proliferation of those cells after the corruption of the physiological processes responsible for normal development and functioning. The advantage of adjuvant therapy, therapy done after surgery, is to prevent the occurring of symptoms and not necessarily to make sure of the integrity of mechanisms that are crucial in preventing abnormal cell proliferation such cell cycle regulation, cell death, which include autophagy, necrosis, and apoptosis. The understanding of dysregulated cell death mechanisms combined with suitable alternative cancer therapies could lead to novel treatment modalities for cancer. Currently, breast cancer is the leading occurring cancer in sub-Saharan women after that of the cervix. This potentially curable condition kills more than half of the diagnosed group, which consists mainly of females aged between 35 and 49 years and with 77% being in stages III and IV. The social economic status of populations coupled with the limited access to proper control strategies and infrastructures in sub-Saharan regions accentuate the burden of the disease. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has shown great potential in treating breast cancer and even greater therapeutic outcomes can be obtained when combining PDT with other therapies such as immunotherapy or nanomedicine.
Part of the book: Breast Cancer and Surgery
Cancer develops from the outgrowth of a clonal population of cells with a genetic pathology to evade cell death and exponential proliferation. It has become a global burden with increasing mortality rates. Lung cancer is a major contributor to cancer fatalities. Conventional therapies have shown advances in treating lung cancer, but the successful eradication of cancer lies in targeting both cancer and cancer stem cells. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a ration of cells found within the tumour bulk, capable of cancer initiation, therapy resistance, metastasis and cancer relapse. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has proven effective in treating lung cancer. PDT exerts selective cell death mechanisms toward cancerous cells. With the use of a photosensitizer (PS) which becomes excited upon irradiation with laser light at a specific wavelength, the PS forms reactive oxygen species (ROS) in turn killing neoplastic cells. Leading therapeutic sequel can be obtained by transcending PDT though combination therapies such as immunotherapy and nanotechnology which will enable PDT to target lung CSCs preventing lung cancer recurrence.
Part of the book: Lung Cancer
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) can be used to treat colorectal cancer (CRC). When a photosensitizer (PS) drug is administered to a patient, it can either passively or actively accumulate within a tumor site and once exposed to a specific wavelength of light, it is excited to produce reactive oxygen species (ROS), resulting in tumor destruction. However, the efficacy of ROS generation for tumor damage is highly dependent on the uptake of the PS in tumor cells. Thus, PS targeted uptake and delivery in CRC tumor cells is a crucial factor in PDT cancer drug absorption studies. Generally, within non-targeted drug delivery mechanisms, only minor amounts of PS passively accumulate in tumor sites and the remainder distributes into healthy tissues, causing unwanted side effects. To improve the efficacy of PDT research is currently focused on the development of specific receptor based photosynthetic nanocarrier platform drugs, which promote the active uptake and absorption of PS drugs in CRC tumor sites only, avoiding unwanted side effects, as well as treatment enhancement. This chapter will focus on current actively targeted PS nanoparticle drug delivery systems, which have been investigated for the PDT treatment of CRC cancer.
Part of the book: Multidisciplinary Approach for Colorectal Cancer
The deregulation of cell growth in milk-producing glands, milk-carrying tubes, or connective tissues is known as breast cancer. It originates from genetic mutations and has the ability to metastasize. Primary tumor cells repetitively divide and lead to inappropriate mechanisms, tumorigenesis, and carcinogenesis, characterized by improper cell type, function, lifetime, and self-destruction. The tumor-specific activation is considered to be an effective strategy for selective cancer destruction, which remains an issue with conventional therapeutic approaches. The tumor microenvironment can be regulated and adapted through an interaction between pH, proteins, and other factors. Principally, human breast cancer genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, produce tumor suppressors that prevent changes in genetic materials, as well as ensure their stability. Photodynamic therapy is a targeted cancer modality that depends on the photochemotherapeutic agent and light characteristics used to activate the compound. The possibility of eradicating breast cancer depends on continuous development of therapeutic approaches using third-generation photochemotherapeutic compounds to improve targeting this cancer and its stem cells.
Part of the book: Breast Cancer Biology