Porphyrin-Based Nanomedicines for Cancer Treatment

Xiangdong Xue, Aaron Lindstrom, Yuanpei Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


As unique molecules with both therapeutic and diagnostic properties, porphyrin derivatives have been extensively employed for cancer treatment. Porphyrins not only show powerful phototherapeutic effects (photodynamic and photothermal therapies), but also exhibit excellent imaging capacities, such as near-infrared fluorescent imaging (NIRFI), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), photoacoustic imaging (PAI), positron emission tomography (PET), and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). In order to take advantage of their robust phototherapeutic effects and excellent imaging capacities, porphyrins can be used to create nanomedicines with effective therapeutic and precise diagnostic properties for cancer treatment. In this Review, we summarize porphyrin-based nanomedicines which have been developed recently, including porphyrin-based liposomes, micelles, polymeric nanoparticles, peptide nanoparticles, and small-molecule nanoassemblies, and their applications on cancer therapy and diagnosis. The outlook and limitation of porphyrin-based nanomedicines are also reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1585-1603
Number of pages19
JournalBioconjugate Chemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 19 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Organic Chemistry


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