Nanomedicine is described as the process of diagnosing, treating, and pre- venting disease using nanostructured materials to improve human health. Quantum dots (QDs) host suitable optical properties for light-driven thera- pies, e.g., photo-dynamic therapy (PDT), for cancer treatment. The efficacy of QDs-assisted PDT relies on the capability of QDs to generate reactive oxygen species, which can be enhanced by inducing structural defects at the atomic level. Furthermore, data concerning the applicability of QDs-PDT in medicine is scarce, particularly for prostate cancer cells (PC3). On this basis, and as a first step in this research, the present report focused on the direct aqueous- synthesis of water-stable ZnSe(S) QDs via a microwave-assisted synthesis approach in the presence of thioglycolic acid (TGA) and mercaptopropionic acid (MPA). XRD analysis confirmed the face centered cubic structure in host ZnS; the average crystallite size was estimated at 10 nm. The photolumines- cence of MPA-capped ZnSe(S) showed a strong main emission peak around 363 nm and a trap emission, attributed to structural defects, centered on 450 nm. The photoluminescence spectrum for TGA-capped ZnSe(S) QDs exhibited only the band gap peak around 390 nm, suggesting the absence of major structural defects. In turn, cell viability assays TGA-capped ZnSe(S) were not toxic at concentrations up to 100 ppm, whereas MPA-capped ZnSe(S) evidenced cytotoxicity at a concentration of 10 ppm. The lethal dose (LD50) for the MPA-capped ZnSe(S) in the PC3 cell line was 36 ppm and 35 ppm for 24 h and 48 h, respectively.