Optimized light delivery in pancreatic cancer

Customer case

University of California at Irvine (UCI), founded in 1965, is a Top 10 public university in USA. It is recognized for cutting-edge and innovative scientific research.

Modulight products: ML7710 (689 nm)

Laser use: Targeted phototherapy studies with photo-immunoconjugates

Link to the study:

Nzola De Magalhães, Adjunct Assistant Professor


Motivation for the study

Efficient light delivery to the whole tumor is one of the main aspects of phototherapy. The efficacy of phototherapy has been demonstrated for several cancers via superficial illumination. Interstitial illumination could enhance light delivery deeper inside the tumor and potentially result in more effective tumor eradication. Hence, the aim of this study is to compare if the therapeutic efficacy of phototherapy is dependent on the light delivery strategies.



A subcutaneous pancreatic cancer in vivo model was established by injecting BXPC3-GFP cancer cells into both flanks of the test subjects. Green fluorescent protein (GFP) serves as an indicator of the tumor cells. EFGR-targeted photoactive agent (Cetuximab-IR700DX) was administered intravenously 24 hours prior NIR laser irradiation. Light activation of the agent makes it phototoxic to the cells that have been bound to it. Only the tumor on the right side received light (left side as a control) either using superficial illumination with a handpiece or interstitial illumination by inserting the optical fiber directly inside the tumor.

ML7710 medical
laser at 689 nm


Phototherapy (PT) with both superficial and interstitial illumination methods efficiently eradicated the tumor. However, significant tumor recurrence was observed 72 hours after phototherapy in case of superficial illumination, while recurrence was very limited with interstitial illumination. Damage to healthy surrounding tissues was not observed.

Graphs reproduced from the original publication with permission from the contact author of the publication.



It is important to carefully choose the light delivery strategy when practicing phototherapy treatments as it can have an effect on the results. Interstitial illumination could improve light delivery to the whole tumor and this way, result in better therapeutic outcomes compared to superficial illumination, even though the results need to be verified in larger studies and in different experimental settings.


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Related Publications

Differences in Therapeutic Efficacy in Pancreatic Cancer Between Interstitial and Superficial Light Delivery Strategies in Targeted Photo Therapy
Nzola De Magalhães
J Life Sci., 2021, 3 (1)



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