Targeting Laser Treatment to Inaccessible Tumors Using Nanoparticle Drug Delivery Vehicles

A.-M. Broome
Case Western Reserve University, US

Keywords: gold nanoparticle, photodynamic therapy, brain tumors, EGFR


Development of selectively targeted nanoparticles loaded with drugs is critical to improve the detection and treatment of glioblastomas, an aggressive brain cancer characterized by low survival rates. However, current clinical standards suffer from lack of specificity and systemic toxicity, often requiring invasive surgical procedures- significant obstacles when trying to minimize offsite damage to healthy brain and maximize treatment efficacy in the tumor. Our studies present a novel drug delivery platform using targeted-gold nanoparticles (Au NP) to deliver a photodynamic therapy (PDT) drug, phthalocyanine 4 (Pc 4), across the blood-brain tumor barrier that allows both detection and treatment of gliomas within mere hours. Targeting Pc 4 to cancer-specific biomarkers concentrates the drug specifically at the tumor, not healthy tissue. Once Pc 4 is delivered, it offers selectivity based on its precisely defined light activation and targeted laser application. Our targeted delivery vehicle possesses: greater control over bioavailability of the drug, controlled release of Pc 4 directly to the site, lower concentration of drug required for PDT effect, avoidance of systemic drug exposure and enhanced PDT killing effect. As a result, this study presents a unique application of targeted PDT for the treatment of brain tumors using an innovative drug delivery vehicle.