This is the first report of photodynamic therapy (PDT) in an orthotopic prostate tumor model and shows that PDT combined with surgery (tumor bed sterilization) gave significant local control of the primary tumor and significant reduction in distant metastases. By contrast, either treatment alone (surgery or PDT) gave relatively poorer local control, and PDT gave a significant increase in the mean number of lung metastases. The MatLyLu variant of the Dunning 3327 rat prostate cancer cell line, which has been selected to be metastatic to lymph nodes and lungs, was injected into the ventral lobe of the rat prostate. After 7 days, tumors were either treated by surgical removal of the ventral lobe, PDT with liposomal benzoporphyrin derivative monoacid ring A, or a combination of surgery, followed by PDT of the tumor bed. Results after 21 days showed a reduction in prostate tumor weight in all groups compared with controls, which became highly significant only for the combination group (17% of control mean tumor weight; P < 0.001; 7 of 13 clinical complete responses). The combination treatment also led to a reduction in lymph node metastasis and reductions in both the frequency and mean number of lung metastases compared with other treatment groups. The PDT-alone group, however, had a mean number of lung metastases per animal, which was nine times the control group and 34 times the combination group. These findings suggest that a tumor bed sterilization approach may be promising for locally advanced prostate cancer and suggest that factors other than local control may need to be evaluated when considering PDT for primary prostate cancer.


This work was supported by DoD MFEL Contract N 00014-94-1-0927 and DOE Contract DE-FG02-91-ER61228 (MGH Laser Center fellowship to T. M.).

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