Photodynamic therapy (PDT) and photothermal therapy (PTT) are two kinds of methodologies that can be applied
to the treatment of cancer. They own some advantages over the existing strategies including chemo- and radiotherapy
but at the same time, are also facing big challenges. During the past decades, great efforts have been devoted to
overcome the bottlenecks and to push these two newly-emerging methodologies to practical applications. One of the big
achievements is the utilization of nanocarbon materials in PDT and PTT. Nanocarbon materials include zero-dimensional
fullerene, one-dimensional carbon nanotubes (CNTs), and two-dimensional graphene. Upon illumination, fullerene can
generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) through both Type I and Type II photochemistry, which allows it a good candidate
for PDT. CNTs and graphene generate significant amount of heat upon excitation with near-infrared light, which
makes them suitable for PTT. In this review, recent developments of the application of nanocarbon materials in PDT and
PTT are briefly summarized and discussed.
Keywords: Carbon nanotubes, fullerene, graphene, photodynamic therapy, photothermal therapy, tumor.
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