J Photochem Photobiol B. 2022 Jul 16;234:112527. doi: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2022.112527. Online ahead of print.
In recent decades, the laser treatment of cancer has been introduced as a promising treatment option. Because of the maldistribution of optical energy and an ambiguous boundary between the normal and tumor tissues, laser irradiation can stimulate residual cancer cells, leading to a cancer regrowth. As photobiomodulation (PBM) is involved in an extensive range of cellular responses, profound comprehension of photo-stimulated mechanisms against the cancer cells is required to establish a safety margin for PBM. Therefore, we aimed to identify the stimulant effects of PBM at various wavelengths against the tumor cells to establish a safety margin for the laser treatment. CT26 murine colon cancer cells were exposed to either 405 (BL), 635 (VIS), or 808 (NIR) nm laser lights at the fluences of 0, 10, 30, and 50 J/cm2. In addition, CT26 tumor-bearing mice were irradiated with BL, VIS, or NIR at a fluence of 30 J/cm2. Both the proliferation and angiogenesis potential of the CT26 cells and tumors were evaluated using the MTT assay, western blot, and immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining analyses. Although cell viability was not statistically significant, BL significantly induced p-ERK upregulation in the CT26 cells, indicating that PBM with BL can stimulate proliferation. In vivo tests showed that the NIR group exhibited the maximum relative tumor volume, and BL yielded a slight increase compared to the control. In the IHC staining and western blot analyses, both BL and NIR increased the expression of EGFR, VEGF, MMP-9, and HIF-1α, which are related to the proliferation and angiogenesis-related factors. Further investigations will be pursued to clarify the molecular pathways that depend on the cancer cell types and laser wavelengths for the establishment of safety guidelines in clinical environments.