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J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2017 Mar;12(1):99-106. doi: 10.1007/s11481-016-9690-9. Epub 2016 Jun 11.

Cell Mediated Photothermal Therapy of Brain Tumors.

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Beckman Laser Institute, University of California, Irvine, CA, 92612, USA.
Department of Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV, 89154, USA.


Gold based nanoparticles with strong near infra-red (NIR) absorption are ideally suited for photothermal therapy (PTT) of brain tumors. The goal of PTT is to induce rapid heating in tumor tissues while minimizing thermal diffusion to normal brain. PTT efficacy is sensitively dependent on both nanoparticle concentration and distribution in tumor tissues. Nanoparticle delivery via passive approaches such as the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect is unlikely to achieve sufficient nanoparticle concentrations throughout tumor volumes required for effective PTT. A simple approach for improving tumor biodsitribution of nanoparticles is the use of cellular delivery vehicles. Specifically, this review focuses on the use of monocytes/macrophages (Mo/Ma) as gold nanoparticle delivery vectors for PTT of brain tumors. Although the efficacy of this delivery approach has been demonstrated in both in vitro and animal PTT studies, its clinical potential for the treatment of brain tumors remains uncertain.


Brain tumor; Gold nanoparticles; Macrophages; Photothermal therapy

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