Nanoparticle systems for cancer phototherapy: An overview

Thais P. Pivetta, Caroline E. A. Botteon, Paulo A. Ribeiro, Priscyla D. Marcato, Maria Raposo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) and photothermal therapy (PTT) are photo-mediated treatments with different mechanisms of action that can be addressed for cancer treatment. Both phototherapies are highly successful and barely or non-invasive types of treatment that have gained attention in the past few years. The death of cancer cells because of the application of these therapies is caused by the formation of reactive oxygen species, that leads to oxidative stress for the case of photodynamic therapy and the generation of heat for the case of photothermal therapies. The advancement of nanotechnology allowed significant benefit to these therapies using nanoparticles, allowing both tuning of the process and an increase of effectiveness. The encapsulation of drugs, development of the most different organic and inorganic nanoparticles as well as the possibility of surfaces’ functionalization are some strategies used to combine phototherapy and nanotechnology, with the aim of an effective treatment with minimal side effects. This article presents an overview on the use of nanostructures in association with phototherapy, in the view of cancer treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3132
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2021


  • Cancer
  • Nanoparticles
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Phototherapy
  • Photothermal therapy


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