Porphyrins offer excellent potential as theranostic agents for personalised medicine; their potent cytotoxic activity within the field of photodynamic therapy has been well documented, demonstrating their increasing clinical relevance in these treatment modalities. In addition, porphyrins demonstrate potential as imaging agents from the inherent fluorescence of the tetrapyrrolic core, and also their ability to chelate metals suitable for PET, SPECT and MRI. PET in particular offers quantitative and highly resolved imaging of physiological and pathophysiological activities in vivo and is well suited for oncology and whole body imaging. Research in the Boyle group focuses on the development of novel porphyrins for photodynamic therapy that can be radiolabelled to provide theranostic agents.
Above: uptake of radiolabelled porphyrin in xenograft tumours over time