International journal of oncology vol:13 issue:6 pages:1171-7
Certain tumour cells, such as squamous carcinoma cells, express an increased number of epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptors. The goal of this study was the targeted delivery of Sn(IV)chlorin e6 (SnCe6) to tumours that overexpress the EGF receptor. Therefore EGF was conjugated to the photosensitizer through a carrier, such as dextran (Dex) and polyvinylalcohol (PVA). These conjugates were then compared to a conjugate of the photosensitizer to dextran or PVA alone. The EGF-Dex-SnCe6 conjugates bound specifically to the EGF receptors of the human squamous carcinoma cell line A431 in contrast to EGF-PVA-SnCe6. However, EGF-PVA-SnCe6 exhibited a higher photocytotoxicity (CC50, 2.8 microM) than EGF-Dex-SnCe6 (CC50, >10 microM) and SnCe6 (CC50, >10 microM). PVA-SnCe6 had a similar photocytotoxicity (CC50, 3.5 microM) to EGF-PVA-SnCe6, indicating that PVA, more than EGF, plays a determinant role in the uptake of the conjugates by A431 cells. Together with the improved affinity of EGF-Dex-SnCe6 over EGF-PVA-SnCe6 for the EGF receptor, the former displayed a small increased photocytotoxicity over Dex-SnCe6, reflecting a limited EGF receptor mediated uptake effect. It was concluded that the photodynamic activity of the EGF-conjugate turns out to be strongly dependent on the carrier used.