Gold-based Nanostructures for Improved Cancer Therapeutics

C. Yang, M. Neshatian, N. Hegarty, D. Chithrani
Ryerson University, CA

Keywords: gold nanostructures, drug delivery, radiation therapy, combinational therapy

Summary:

The field of nanotechnology is currently undergoing explosive development on many fronts. The technology is expected to generate innovations and play a critical role in cancer therapeutics. Among other nanoparticle (NP) systems, there has been tremendous progress made in the use of spherical gold NPs (GNPs) in cancer therapeutics. In treating cancer, radiation therapy and chemotherapy remain the most widely used treatment options. These nanostructures further provide strategies for improving loading, targeting, and controlling the release of drugs to minimize the side effects of highly toxic anticancer drugs used in chemotherapy. Our recent results show enhancement of cell death during radiation therapy when GNPs are targeted to nucleus. In addition, we have seen enhanced therapeutic effects when GNPs are used as anticancer drug carriers. Hence, gold nanostructures provide a versatile platform to integrate many therapeutic options leading to effective combinational therapy in the fight against cancer. A multifunctional platform based on gold nanostructures with targeting ligands, therapeutic molecules, and imaging contrast agents will hold the possibility of promising directions in cancer research.