Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Academic Editor: Peter Wolf
Despite its more than 100-year history in experimental and clinical use, photodynamic therapy (PDT) is only starting to be appreciated for its full potential. PDT combines a photosensitizer (PS) and light in the presence of oxygen to treat cancer and other disorders. This manuscript reviews molecular mechanisms that have been evaluated over the past years for the effects of PDT at the cellular level as well as in therapeutic settings in vivo. The availability of multiple PS with different structures and functional properties makes PDT an extremely versatile and, conversely, a challenging approach to cancer therapy. The advancing understanding of molecular pathways helps to design improved regimens. As most cancers are being treated with combination therapies, PDT is being integrated into rationally designed combined regimens that exploit molecular responses to PDT for improved efficacy.