Colorectal cancer is the third most common cause of cancer death in the United States and the second in Europe. Surgical tumor resection combined with chemotherapy often leads to disease remission but is associated with many complications and relapse occurs in 30 to 50% of patients. Available therapies for prevention of recurrence and metastasis in colorectal cancer demonstrate both limited efficacy and capacity to differentiate between cancerous and healthy cells and tissues. Therefore, new, more effective therapeutic approaches for colorectal cancer with fewer toxic side effects are greatly needed.
To address this, Conde et al. utilized localized gene and drug delivery with phototherapy, or light-based therapy, for tumor ablation to improve therapeutic efficacy over systemic or intratumoral administration in a preclinical mouse model of colorectal cancer, both in terms of tumor shrinkage and survival rate.