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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2012, Article ID 637429, 9 pages
Review Article

Perspectives on the Role of Photodynamic Therapy in the Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer

1Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital of Medical College, Xi'an Jiaotong University, 277 West Yanta Road, Xi'an 710061, Shaanxi Province, China
2Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, North Dakota State University, Sudro Hall 203, Fargo, ND 58105, USA

Received 15 May 2011; Revised 25 July 2011; Accepted 1 August 2011

Academic Editor: Peter Robertson

Copyright © 2012 Wei Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a noninvasive procedure involving a photosensitizing agent that is activated by light to produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) that selectively destroy tumor cells. In recent years, PDT has been used in the treatment of pancreatic cancer (PC). The antitumor effects of PDT include three main mechanisms: direct tumor cell death (necrosis, apoptosis, and autophagy), vascular destruction, and immune system activation. The present paper systematically summarizes the effects of PDT in the treatment of PC from the experimental studies to the clinical studies and discusses the mechanisms of PDT-induced PC destruction.