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Nanomedicine. 2013 Oct;9(7):1089-97. doi: 10.1016/j.nano.2013.04.007. Epub 2013 May 1.

Photoactivation of gold nanoparticles for glioma treatment.

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INSERM U836 Grenoble Institut des Neurosciences, Equipe 6, Grenoble, France; Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France; European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Medical Beamline ID17, Grenoble, France; Laboratoire Lésions des Acides Nucléiques, SCIB UMR E3 CEA-UJF, Institut Nanosciences et Cryogénie, CEA Grenoble, France Structure Fédérative de Recherche CEA-UJF (No: FED 4177), France.


Radiosensitization efficacy of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) with low energy radiations (88 keV) was evaluated in vitro and in vivo on rats bearing glioma. In vitro, a significant dose-enhancement factor was measured by clonogenic assays after irradiation with synchrotron radiation of F98 glioma cells in presence of AuNPs (1.9 and 15 nm in diameter). In vivo, 1.9 nm nanoparticles were found to be toxic following intracerebral delivery in rats bearing glioma, whether no toxicity was observed using 15 nm nanoparticles at the same concentration (50 mg/mL). The therapeutic efficacy of gold photoactivation was determined by irradiating the animals after intracerebral infusion of AuNPs. Survival of rats that had received the combination of treatments (AuNPs: 50 mg/mL, 15 Gy) was significantly increased in comparison with the survival of rats that had received irradiation alone. In conclusion, this experimental approach is promising and further studies are foreseen for improving its therapeutic efficacy.


These investigators report that gold nanoparticles of the correct size can be used to enhance the effects of irradiation in the context of a glioma model. Since many of the glioma varieties are currently incurable, this or similar approaches may find their way to clinical trials in the near future.


Glioma; Gold nanoparticles; Photoactivation; Synchrotron radiation

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