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Hexadecafluorinated zinc phthalocyanine: photodynamic properties against the EMT-6 tumour in mice and pharmacokinetics using 65Zn as a radiotracer


Hexadecafluorinated zinc phthalocyanine (ZnPcF16), an analogue of zinc phthalocyanine (ZnPc) in which all hydrogen atoms have been substituted by fluorine, was prepared as a single isomeric product via the condensation of tetrafluorophthalonitrile with zinc acetate. Fluorination renders the ZnPc soluble in most common solvents. The photodynamic properties and pharmacokinetics of the ZnPcF16 were evaluated in EMT-6 tumour-bearing Balb/c mice using 65Zn-radiolabelled analogues. Both dyes, administered i.v. at 1 mumol kg-1 as Cremophor emulsions, revealed good tumour uptake [approximately 8-9 per cent of the injected dose per g tissue (%IDg-1)] at 24 h post injection (p.i.), with the fluorinated dye reaching higher concentrations (approximately 11%IDg-1) at 48 h p.i. and subsequently higher tumour-blood ratios due to rapid blood clearance. ZnPcF16 at a dose of 5 mumol kg-1 (4.3 mg kg-1) induced complete tumour regression after phototherapy (24 h p.i., 650-700 nm band, 360 J cm-2, 200 mW cm-1). At a dose of 2 mumol kg-1 and phototherapy at 24 h p.i., the tumour volume doubling time increased to 11 days vs 6 days for the control tumours. A similar tumour growth delay was observed when phototherapy was conducted at 48 h or 72 h after dye injection implying that tumour response correlates with tumour dye concentrations rather than serum concentrations. As a result of its low solubility, the administered dose of ZnPc was limited to 1 mumol kg-1 and at this drug level significant tumour response was only observed when the dye was solubilised as the pyridinium salt. Isolation of the neoplastic cells after in vivo dye administration and in vitro exposure to red light followed by a colony formation assay showed that the ZnPcF16 exhibited a 1-2 order of magnitude higher potential for direct cell killing as compared with Photofrin and about a five times lower efficiency than ZnPc. However, all three photosensitisers induced complete occlusion of tumour vasculature immediately after PDT, suggesting that tumour regression mainly resulted from vascular stasis. The ZnPcF16 offers several advantages over ZnPc for clinical applications, including improved solubility in most solvents, resulting in facilitated drug formation, favourable pharmacokinetics as well as the potential use in fluorine magnetic resonance (F-MR) imaging.

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Boyle, R., Rousseau, J., Kudrevich, S. et al. Hexadecafluorinated zinc phthalocyanine: photodynamic properties against the EMT-6 tumour in mice and pharmacokinetics using 65Zn as a radiotracer. Br J Cancer 73, 49–53 (1996).

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