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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/11122

Title: Biological and Physical Strategies to Improve the Therapeutic Index of Photodynamic Therapy
Authors: Rendon Restrepo, Cesar Augusto
Advisor: Lilge, Lothar
Department: Medical Biophysics
Keywords: photodynamic
inverse problem
therapeutic index
tissue optics
Issue Date: 28-Jul-2008
Abstract: Photodynamic therapy (PDT) derives its tumour selectivity from preferential photosensitizer accumulation and short light penetration in tissue. However, additional strategies are needed to improve the therapeutic index of PDT in oncological applications where light is delivered interstitially to large volumes (e.g. prostate), or when adjacent normal tissue is extremely sensitive (e.g. brain). Much research to improve PDT's selectivity is directed towards developing targeted photosensitizers. Here, I present two alternative strategies to improve PDT's selectivity, without compromising its efficacy. For interstitial delivery, I investigated whether customizable cylindrical diffusers can be used to deliver light doses that conform better to target geometries, specifically the prostate. Additionally, I examined whether the neuroprotectant erythropoietin, used as an adjuvant to PDT for brain tumours, can reduce the sensitivity of normal tissue, thereby improving treatment selectivity. To determine if tailored diffusers constitute an improvement over conventional ones, I introduce a novel optimization algorithm for treatment planning. I also analyze the sensitivity of the resulting plans to changes in the optical properties and diffuser placement. These results are contextualized by a mathematical formalism to characterize the light dose distributions arising from tailored diffusers. In parallel, I investigate the neuroprotective effects of erythropoietin in PDT of primary cortical neurons in culture and normal rat brain in vivo. I show that the most important parameter determining prostate coverage is the number of diffusers employed. Moreover, while tailored diffusers do offer an improvement over conventional ones, the improvement is likely masked by perturbations introduced by the uncertainties of light delivery. Although these results largely discard the use of tailored diffusers in prostate PDT, significant insight has been gained into PDT treatment planning, and tailored diffusers may still be advantageous in more complicated geometries. Additionally, I show that erythropoietin does not improve survival of PDT-treated neurons PDT, nor reduces the volume of necrosis in vivo, for the ranges of conditions and doses studied. To our knowledge, this is the first time this strategy has been tested in brain PDT and deserves to be investigated further, by using later time-points, functional outcomes, and other neuroprotectants.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/11122
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Medical Biophysics - Doctoral theses

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