Role of complement in the antitumor effect of photodynamic therapy and its exploitation for therapeutic gain

Ivana Cecic is investigating a novel strategy in the fight against cancer. Her research concerns the complement system, a series of proteins that help the body protect itself from harm due to infection and injury. During the course of certain diseases, such as heart attack and stroke, complement activates against tissues and can result in life-threatening consequences. Cecic conducted research that revealed complement contributes to the effectiveness of photodynamic therapy, a new method of activating light-sensitive drugs in specific tissues as part of the treatment of a variety of cancerous and non-cancerous lesions. Now she’s examining the potential of harnessing complement’s tissue-destructive power in cancer treatment involving photodynamic therapy. Cecic hopes the research will contribute to more effective treatment of malignant tumours.