m-THPC-mediated photodynamic therapy of malignant gliomas: Assessment of a new transfection strategy

Agnese Molinari, Cecilia Bombelli, Stefano Mannino, Annarita Stringaro, Laura Toccacieli, Annarica Calcabrini, Marisa Colone, Annunziato Mangiola, Giulio Maira, Paola Luciani, Giovanna Mancini, Giuseppe Arancia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Malignant gliomas represent the most common primary brain tumor: more than 50% of them are glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Photodynamic therapy may offer a very good chance of targeted destruction of infiltrating GBM cells, thus increasing the survival time and recurrence-free interval of GBM patients. Among photosensitizing agents, meta-tetrahydroxyphenylchlorin (m-THPC) is promising for the treatment of brain tumors. In previous studies, we investigated the transfection activity of dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-phosphatidylcholine (DMPC) liposomes, containing a cationic gemini surfactant, loaded with m-THPC on human colon adenocarcinoma and glioblastoma cell lines. In this paper, the uptake and the intracellular distribution of m-THPC, loaded in several formulations of cationic liposomes, were analyzed, by making a comparison with those obtained using the same chlorin in the pharmaceutical form (Foscan®). Moreover, by cloning efficiency assay the potential therapeutic efficiency of chlorin delivered by liposome formulations was compared with that of the pharmaceutical compound, before and after irradiation with laser light at 652 nm. The obtained results indicated that cationic liposomes (i) transferred m-THPC in glioblastoma cells more efficiently than pharmaceutical formulation; (ii) significantly (p <0.001) increased the m-THPC cytotoxic effect after laser irradiation; (iii) seemed to exert their cytotoxic action in the early phase of interaction with the cells, during adhesion to the plasma membrane.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1149-1155
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2007


  • Cationic liposomes
  • Glioblastoma
  • m-THPC
  • Photodynamic therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'm-THPC-mediated photodynamic therapy of malignant gliomas: Assessment of a new transfection strategy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this