Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a photoactivation or photosensitization process, wherein the photosensitizer
(PS) is activated under appropriate wavelengths. Conventional antitumor therapy for cervical cancer
includes surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. However, these techniques are accompanied by some evident
shortcomings. PDT is considered an emerging minimally invasive treatment for cervical cancer. In recent years,
new PSs have been synthesized because of the long absorption wavelength, good solubility, and high tumor
targeting ability. Studies also showed that the synergistic combination of nanomaterials with PSs resulted in
considerable benefits compared with the use of small-molecule PSs alone. The compounds can act both as a
drug delivery system and PS and enhance the photodynamic effect. This review summarizes the application of
some newly synthesized PSs and PS-combined nanoparticles in cervical cancer treatment to enhance the efficiency
of PDT. The mechanism and influencing factors of PDT are further elaborated.
Keywords: Photodynamic therapy, photosensitizer, nanoparticle, drug delivery system, cervical cancer, radiotherapy.
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