Journal article

Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of tetra(m-hydroxyphenyl)chlorin in the hamster cheek pouch tumor model: comparison with clinical measurements

The pharmacokinetics (PK) of the photosensitizer tetra(m-hydroxyphenyl)chlorin (mTHPC) was measured by optical fiber-based light-induced fluorescence spectroscopy (LIFS) in the normal and tumoral cheek pouch mucosa of 29 Golden Syrian hamsters with chem. induced squamous cell carcinoma. Similar measurements were carried out on the normal oral cavity mucosa of five patients up to 30 days after injection. The drug doses were between 0.15 and 0.3 mg per kg of body wt. (mg/kg), and the mTHPC fluorescence in the tissue was excited at 420 nm. The PK in both human and hamster exhibited similar behavior although the PK in the hamster mucosa was slightly delayed in comparison with that of its human counterpart. The mTHPC fluorescence signal of the hamster mucosa was smaller than that of the human mucosa by a factor of about 3 for the same injected drug dose. A linear correlation was found between the fluorescence signal and the mTHPC dose in the range from 0.075 to 0.5 mg/kg at times between 8 and 96 h after injection. No significant selectivity in mTHPC fluorescence between the tumoral and normal mucosa of the hamsters was found at any of the applied conditions. The sensitivity of the normal and tumoral hamster cheek pouch mucosa to mTHPC photodynamic therapy as a function of the light dose was detd. by light irradn. at 650 nm and 150 mW/cm2, 4 days after the injection of a drug dose of 0.15 mg/kg. These results were compared with irradiations of the normal oral and normal and tumoral bronchial mucosa of 37 patients under the same conditions. The reaction to PDT of both types of human mucosae was considerably stronger than that of the hamster cheek pouch mucosa. The sensitivity to PDT became comparable between hamster and human mucosa when the drug dose for the hamster was increased to 0.5 mg/kg. A significant therapeutic selectivity between the normal and neoplastic hamster cheek pouch was obsd. Less selectivity was found following irradiations of normal mucosa and early carcinomas in the human bronchi. The pharmacodynamic behavior of mTHPC was detd. by test irradiations of the normal mucosa of hamsters and patients between 6 h and 8 days after injection of 0.5 and 0.15 mg/kg in the hamsters and the patients, resp. The normal hamster cheek pouch showed a max. response to irradn. 6 h after injection and then decreased continuously to no observable reaction at 8 days after injection. The reaction of the normal human oral mucosa, however, showed an increasing sensitivity to the applied light between 6 h and 4 days after mTHPC injection and then decreased again at 8 days. The hamster model with the chem. induced early squamous cell cancer in the cheek pouch thus showed some similarity to the early squamous cell cancer of the human oral mucosa considering the PK. However, a quant. difference in fluorescence signal for identical mTHPC doses as well as a significant difference in pharmacodynamic behavior were also obsd. The suitability of this animal model for the optimization of PDT parameters in the clinic is therefore limited. Hence great care must be taken in screening new dyes for PDT of early squamous cell cancer of the upper aerodigestive tract based upon observables in the hamster cheek pouch model.


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