Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has been designated as a "'promising new modality in the treatment of cancer" since the early 1980s. This can be partly attributed to the very attractive basic concept of PDT; the combination of two therapeutic agents, a photosensitizing drug and light, which are relatively harmless by themselves but combined (in the presence of oxygen) ultimately cause more or less selective tumour destruction (BROW; BROW; WALKER, 2004; ZEITOUNI; OSEROFF; SHIEH, 2003). The photosensitizers (PS) used in the PDT aimed to treat skin cancer have an inadequate hydrophilic/lipophilic balance, that difficult their penetration through the stratum corneum where the cancerous cells are located (FABRIS et. al., 2006).Recently, the development of delivery systems and promotion enhancers to optimize the cutaneus delivery of PS are a promising and unexplored research field for PDT of skin cancer (DE ROSA; BENTLEY, 2000; LOPEZ et al., 2004).Delivery systems composed by monoolein, a biocompatible polar lipid, and water are able to increase the skin permeation of drugs and controlled their delivery (DE ROSA et. al., 2003).The project propose to develop topical delivery systems based on liquid-crystalline dispersions of monoolein to deliver the PS zinc phthalocyanine and protoporphyrin IX in the PDT and to evaluate their in vitro and in vivo permeation and retention studies.
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