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      Targets and Mechanisms of Photodynamic Therapy in Lung Cancer Cells: A Brief Overview

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          Lung cancer remains one of the most common cancer-related causes of death. This type of cancer typically develops over a period of many years, and if detected at an early enough stage can be eliminated by a variety of treatments including photodynamic therapy (PDT). A critical discussion on the clinical applications of PDT in lung cancer is well outside the scope of the present report, which, in turn focuses on mechanistic and other aspects of the photodynamic action at a molecular and cellular level. The knowledge of these issues at pre-clinical levels is necessary to develop, check and adopt appropriate clinical protocols in the future. This report, besides providing general information, includes a brief overview of present experimental PDT and provides some non-exhaustive information on current strategies aimed at further improving the efficacy, especially in regard to lung cancer cells.

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          Most cited references 164

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          Cell death: critical control points.

          Programmed cell death is a distinct genetic and biochemical pathway essential to metazoans. An intact death pathway is required for successful embryonic development and the maintenance of normal tissue homeostasis. Apoptosis has proven to be tightly interwoven with other essential cell pathways. The identification of critical control points in the cell death pathway has yielded fundamental insights for basic biology, as well as provided rational targets for new therapeutics.
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            NF-kappaB in cancer: from innocent bystander to major culprit.

            Nuclear factor of kappaB (NF-kappaB) is a sequence-specific transcription factor that is known to be involved in the inflammatory and innate immune responses. Although the importance of NF-KB in immunity is undisputed, recent evidence indicates that NF-kappaB and the signalling pathways that are involved in its activation are also important for tumour development. NF-kappaB should therefore receive as much attention from cancer researchers as it has already from immunologists.
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              Cell adhesion: the molecular basis of tissue architecture and morphogenesis.

               B Gumbiner (1996)
              A variety of cell adhesion mechanisms underlie the way that cells are organized in tissues. Stable cell interactions are needed to maintain the structural integrity of tissues, and dynamic changes in cell adhesion participate in the morphogenesis of developing tissues. Stable interactions actually require active adhesion mechanisms that are very similar to those involved in tissue dynamics. Adhesion mechanisms are highly regulated during tissue morphogenesis and are intimately related to the processes of cell motility and cell migration. In particular, the cadherins and the integrins have been implicated in the control of cell movement. Cadherin mediated cell compaction and cellular rearrangements may be analogous to integrin-mediated cell spreading and motility on the ECM. Regulation of cell adhesion can occur at several levels, including affinity modulation, clustering, and coordinated interactions with the actin cytoskeleton. Structural studies have begun to provide a picture of how the binding properties of adhesion receptors themselves might be regulated. However, regulation of tissue morphogenesis requires complex interactions between the adhesion receptors, the cytoskeleton, and networks of signaling pathways. Signals generated locally by the adhesion receptors themselves are involved in the regulation of cell adhesion. These regulatory pathways are also influenced by extrinsic signals arising from the classic growth factor receptors. Furthermore, signals generated locally be adhesion junctions can interact with classic signal transduction pathways to help control cell growth and differentiation. This coupling between physical adhesion and developmental signaling provides a mechanism to tightly integrate physical aspects of tissue morphogenesis with cell growth and differentiation, a coordination that is essential to achieve the intricate patterns of cells in tissues.

                Author and article information

                Cancers (Basel)
                Cancers (Basel)
                Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI)
                March 2011
                03 March 2011
                : 3
                : 1
                : 1014-1041
                Department of Biologia e Patologia Cellulare e Molecolare “L. Califano” - Università Federico II, Via S. Pansini, 5 80131 Naples, Italy; E-Mails: angelachiaviello@ (A.C.); ilariapostiglione@ (I.P.)
                Author notes
                [* ] To whom correspondance should be addressed; E-Mail: palumbo@ ; Tel.: + 39 081 7463249.

                These authors contributed equally to this work.

                © 2011 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

                This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (



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