Roberto Frairia (Dip. Scienze Mediche)
Sonodynamic therapy is an innovative anticancer approach based on the synergistic effect of ultrasound and chemical compound referred to as "sonosensitizer". Since the effect of high energy shock waves (HESW) on cancer had received little attention, our group began to investigate the response of human cancer cell lines to the combined effect of extracorporeal HESW, generated by a piezoelectric device, and the natural porphyrin precursor, 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA). HESW are differentiated from ultrasound by their lower frequency, minimal tissue absorption and no thermal effect. Exogenous application of ALA can lead to a pronounced accumulation of protoporphyrin IX (PPIX), a substance with excellent photosensitizing properties, in tumor tissue.
HESW are able to induce acoustic cavitation, which results in a concentration of energy sufficient to generate a sonoluminescence emission, able to cause electronic excitation of porphyrins by energy transfer and initiate a photochemical process resulting in the formation of the cytotoxic singlet oxygen. In particular, with our study we expect to improve the in vitro and in vivo knowledge of HESW and porphyrin compounds as sonosensitizer agents.
Therefore, outputs arising from this project include two phases:
Phase 1- In vitro evaluation of HESW effect on human cancer cell lines
Phase 2 - In vivo evaluation of the protocols in syngeneic rat models of cancer.
In summary our ultimate results are:
- to activate, into cancer cells, sonosensitizer agents, such as porphyrin compounds;
- to achieve a cytopathogenic effect at tumours site opening new perspective in sonodynamic therapy.
Sonodynamic Therapy, High Energy Shock Waves, Aminolevulinic Acid, Porphyrin, Cancer
Ministry of Health