Light-triggered photodynamic nanomedicines for overcoming localized therapeutic efficacy in cancer treatment

Jiwoong Choi, In Cheol Sun, Hee Sook Hwang, Hong Yeol Yoon, Kwangmeyung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Photodynamic nanomedicines have significantly enhanced the therapeutic efficacy of photosensitizers (PSs) by overcoming critical limitations of PSs such as poor water solubility and low tumor accumulation. Furthermore, functional photodynamic nanomedicines have enabled overcoming oxygen depletion during photodynamic therapy (PDT) and tissue light penetration limitation by supplying oxygen or upconverting light in targeted tumor tissues, resulting in providing the potential to overcome biological therapeutic barriers of PDT. Nevertheless, their localized therapeutic effects still remain a huddle for the effective treatment of metastatic- or recurrent tumors. Recently, newly designed photodynamic nanomedicines and their combination chemo- or immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy enable the systemic treatment of various metastatic tumors by eliciting antitumor immune responses via immunogenic cell death (ICD). This review introduces recent advances in photodynamic nanomedicines and their applications, focusing on overcoming current limitations. Finally, the challenges and future perspectives of the clinical translation of photodynamic nanomedicines in cancer PDT are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114344
JournalAdvanced Drug Delivery Reviews
StatePublished - Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea, funded by the Ministry of Science (NRF-2019R1A2C3006283 and NRF-2022M3H4A1A03067401), the KU-KIST Graduate School of Converging Science and Technology (Korea University) and the Intramural Research Program of KIST.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.


  • Light-triggered nanomedicine
  • Photodynamic imaging
  • Photodynamic immunotherapy
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Tumor microenvironment


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