Thayer School of Engineering
Despite substantial drug development efforts, pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains a difficult disease to treat, and surgical resection is the only potentially curative option. Unfortunately, 80% of patients are ineligible for surgery due to the presence of invasive disease and/or distant metastases at the time of diagnosis. Treatment strategies geared towards reclassifying these patients as surgical candidates by reducing metastatic burden represents the most promising approach to improve long-term survival. We describe a photodynamic therapy (PDT) based approach that, in combination with the first-line chemotherapeutic nab-paclitaxel, effectively addresses distant metastases in three separate orthotopic PDAC models in immunodeficient mice. In addition to effectively controlling local tumor growth, PDT plus nab-paclitaxel primes the tumor to elicit systemic effects and reduce or abrogate metastases. This combination dramatically inhibits (up to 100%) the eventual development of metastases in models of early stage PDAC, and completely eliminates metastasis in 55% of animals with already established distant disease in late-stage models. Our findings suggest that this light activation process initiates local biological and/or physiological changes within the tumor microenvironment that can be leveraged to treat both localized and distant disease, and potentially reclassify patients with previously inoperable disease as surgical candidates.
Pigula, M.; Mai, Z.; Anbil, S.; Choi, M.-G.; Wang, K.; Maytin, E.; Pogue, B.; Hasan, T. Dramatic Reduction of Distant Pancreatic Metastases Using Local Light Activation of Verteporfin with Nab-Paclitaxel. Cancers 2021, 13, 5781. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13225781
Dartmouth Digital Commons Citation
Pigula, Michael; Mai, Zhiming; Anbil, Sriram; Choi, Myung Gyu; Wang, Kenneth; Maytin, Edward; Pogue, Brian; and Hasan, Tayyaba, "Dramatic reduction of distant pancreatic metastases using local light activation of verteporfin with nab-paclitaxel" (2021). Dartmouth Scholarship. 4178.