Scientists from Oregon State University are experimenting with using silicon naphthalocyanine as a single compound that can both detect and combat tumorous cells. The silicon naphthalocyanine glows when illuminated with near infrared light, all the while heating up to create reactive oxygen species.
In pre-clinical trials that tested the effects of silicon naphthalocyanine on ovarian tumors, researchers delivered the compound inside of the copolymer PEG-PCL which gathers around cancer cells, pointing to the tumor. Once the polymer and compound were in place, the near infrared light was administered to the area and the therapy began. The therapy allowed for the tumors to be broken down then excreted by the body without any side effects or without the tumor returning.