Aim. The usefulness of photodynamic therapy (PDT) for treating sentinel lymph node (SLN) metastasis was evaluated. Materials and Methods. Verteporfin, a hydrophobic photosensitizer, forms a soluble aggregate with poly(2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine-co-n-butyl methacrylate) (PMB). The concentrations of verteporfin were determined by measuring the fluorescence emitted at 700 nm. Seven days after the inoculation of A431 cells at the forearm of BALB/c nude mice, PMB-verteporfin was injected at dorsum manus and 75 J of light energy was delivered for 1 minute. Fifty-three mice were randomly assigned to the combination of PMB-verteporfin injection and light exposure, light exposure alone, PMB-verteporfin injection alone, and no treatment groups. Ten days after PDT, brachial lymph nodes, which were considered as SLNs, were harvested and evaluated. Results. The concentration of verteporfin in SLN was significantly higher than other organs. The combination of PMB-verteporfin injection and light exposure group significantly reduced the SLN metastasis (13%) comparing with no treatment group (52%), light exposure alone group (57%), and PMB-verteporfin injection alone group (46%). Conclusions. These data suggested that PDT using PMB as a nanotransporter of verteporfin could be a minimally invasive treatment of SLN metastasis in breast cancer and represent a potential alternative procedure to SLNB.
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