Hybrid Sono-Photodynamic Combination Therapy Mediated by Water-Soluble Gallium Phthalocyanine Enhances the Cytotoxic Effect against Breast Cancer Cell Lines

Turkkol A., CAN KARANLIK C., Calıskan S. G., Bilgin M. D., ERDOĞMUŞ A., Güzel E.

ACS Applied Bio Materials, vol.7, no.5, pp.2725-2733, 2024 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 7 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1021/acsabm.3c01078
  • Journal Name: ACS Applied Bio Materials
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, BIOSIS, Compendex, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.2725-2733
  • Keywords: breast cancer, hybrid therapy, photodynamic therapy, phthalocyanine, sensitizer, sonodynamic therapy
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Breast cancer is a life-threatening disease that is gaining increasing importance due to its rising incidence, highlighting the need for novel treatment methods with the least disadvantages. Recently, scientists have focused on developing therapeutic treatment modalities for effective cancer treatment. In contrast to conventional cancer treatment methods such as immunotherapy, surgery, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy, photodynamic therapy (PDT) is gaining prominence. Besides, sonodynamic treatment (SDT) is a noninvasive therapeutic approach that uses ultrasound to induce high tissue penetration. In both methods, sensitizers are activated to generate cytotoxic reactive oxygen species such as •OH and 1O2. In particular, the combined use of hybrid and complementary treatment methods has become an important modality in cancer treatment in recent years. Sono-photodynamic therapy (SPDT), which is an important method applied in combination with PDT and SDT, has started to be preferred in terms of reducing potential side effects compared to monotherapy. One of the most important types of sensitizers used in PDT and SDT is known as phthalocyanines (Pcs). Motivated by these facts, this research presents the sono-photochemical, in vitro cytotoxicity, and theoretical evaluation of water-soluble gallium phthalocyanine (GaPc). The results indicate that the quantum yield of the generation of singlet oxygen increased in sono-photochemical studies (ΦΔ = 0.94), compared to photochemical studies (ΦΔ = 0.72). In vitro analyses revealed that GaPc did not exhibit significant cytotoxic effects at the specified varying concentration doses (1-20 μM). Furthermore, GaPc-mediated SPDT triggered cell death by inducing reactive oxygen species formation in the breast cancer cell line (MCF-7). The interaction mechanism of the GaPc with EGFR and VEGFR2 target proteins, which are critical regulators of metastasis, proliferation, and angiogenesis, was investigated by molecular docking simulation. GaPc has effective binding affinities against target proteins, and this affinity was found to be the highest against VEGFR2. Molecular docking results showed a good correlation with the obtained biological results. Eventually, this molecular building of the efficient water-soluble phthalocyanine-based sensitizer is a potential therapeutic for PDT, SDT, and SPDT applications.