Tumor delivery of Photofrin® by PLL-g-PEG for photodynamic therapy

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Photofrin® (porfimer sodium) is a photosensitive reagent used for photodynamic therapy (PDT) of tumors and dysplasias. Because only photo-irradiated sites are damaged, PDT is less invasive than systemic treatments. However, a photosensitive reaction is a major side effect of systemically delivered Photofrin. To enhance localization of Photofrin to tumors, we have formulated Photofrin with the tumor-localizing graft copolymer poly(ethylene glycol)-grafted poly(L-lysine), PLL-g-PEG. We demonstrate that Photofrin preferentially interacts with PLL-g-PEG through both ionic and hydrophobic interactions. The serum competitive study showed that the highly PEG-grafted PLL is better for preventing serum binding to the Photofrin/PLL-g-PEG complex. In tumor-bearing mice, formulation of Photofrin with PLL-g-PEG enhanced tumor localization of Photofrin as twice as Photofrin alone and concomitantly suppressed the photosensitivity reaction drastically.Graphical abstract

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