Effects of ALA-mediated photodynamic therapy on the invasiveness of human glioma cells.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Lasers in surgery and medicine, Volume 38, Issue 10, p.939-45 (2006)


Aminolevulinic Acid, Brain Neoplasms, Cell Physiological Phenomena, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Glioma, Humans, Neoplasm Invasiveness, Photochemotherapy, Photosensitizing Agents, Spheroids, Cellular, Tumor Cells, Cultured


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: High-grade gliomas are characterized by rapid proliferation, angiogenesis, and invasive growth. Eradication or inhibition of infiltrating glioma cells poses a significant clinical challenge that is unlikely to be solved using conventional treatment regimens consisting of ionizing radiation and chemotherapeutic agents. In this study, we evaluated the effects of 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA)-mediated photodynamic therapy (PDT) on the invasiveness of human glioma cells migrating from implanted multicell human tumor spheroids.

STUDY DESIGN/MATERIALS AND METHODS: Tumor spheroids, derived from the human glioma cell line ACBT, were implanted into a gel matrix of collagen type I. Twenty-four hours following implantation there was a significant invasion into the surrounding gel by individual tumor cells to an average distance of 400 microm. The cultures were incubated in ALA for 4 hours and then exposed to 635 nm laser light in a titration of fluence level, fluence rate, and drug concentration.

RESULTS: ALA-PDT at a light fluence of 6 J/cm(2) was sufficient to inhibit gloma cell migration distance by 80-90% compared to control cultures, but did not prevent spheroid growth nor was it cytotoxic to the migrating cells. The viability of the migrating cells both in control and PDT-treated cultures receiving 6 J/cm(2) was high, 85 and 65%, respectively. ALA-PDT at fluences of 25 J/cm(2) was clearly cytotoxic for both the infiltrating cells as well as the spheroids. Low fluence rates were more effective at inhibiting tumor cell infiltration than higher ones for a given total fluence.

CONCLUSION: Measurement of cell survival, and results from cultures with blocked cell proliferation, indicated a direct migratory inhibition effect on the invading cells rather than cytotoxicity as the most likely mechanism for the inhibition of invasiveness observed following ALA-mediated PDT.

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