Photoimmunoconjugates: novel synthetic strategies to target and treat cancer by photodynamic therapy

Sara R.G. Fernandes, Rosa Fernandes, Bruno Sarmento, Patrícia M.R. Pereira, João P.C. Tomé

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) combines a photosensitizer (PS) with the physical energy of non-ionizing light to trigger cell death pathways. PDT has potential as a therapeutic modality to be used in alternative or in combination with other conventional cancer treatment protocols (e.g. surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy). Still, due to the lack of specificity of the current PSs to target the tumor cells, several studies have exploited their conjugation with targeting moieties. PSs conjugated with antibodies (Abs) or their fragments, able to bind antigens overexpressed in the tumors, have demonstrated potential in PDT of tumors. This review provides an overview of the most recent advances on photoimmunoconjugates (PICs) for cancer PDT, which involve the first and second-generation PSs conjugated to Abs. This is an update of our previous review “Antibodies armed with photosensitizers: from chemical synthesis to photobiological applications”, published in 2015 in Org. Biomol. Chem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2579-2593
Number of pages15
JournalOrganic and Biomolecular Chemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2019


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