Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Enhancing combined chemo- and radiotherapy in vivo with nanotechnology

A new targeted cancer therapy termed quadrapeutics (after the four components of the therapy) radically accelerated and improved the effect of combined chemotherapy and radiation in vivo.  Cancer cells self-assembled systemically administered antibody-functionalized gold nanoparticles and drug-loaded nanocarriers into intracellular nanoclusters via receptor-mediated endocytosis.  Near-infra-red laser pulses heated the gold nanoparticles generating vapour plasmonic nanobubbles which then exploded, releasing the drugs from the nanocarriers into the cytoplasm.  Subsequently, xray pulses were locally amplified in the cancer cells through the emission of secondary electrons by the gold nanoparticles in the nanoclusters.  Nanocluster size and thus effectiveness increased with the cancer aggressiveness. 

On-demand intracellular amplification of chemoradiation with cancer-specific plasmonic nanobubbles; Ekaterina Y Lukianova-Hleb et al; Nature Medicine; doi:10.1038/nm.3484

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