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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2018 Nov 28;10(47):40424-40433. doi: 10.1021/acsami.8b14968. Epub 2018 Nov 14.

Dual Imaging-Guided Oxidative-Photothermal Combination Anticancer Therapeutics.

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Korea Institute of Radiological & Medical Sciences , Nowonro 75, Nowon-gu, Seoul 01812 , Republic of Korea.


Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is a stress-response protein with potent cytoprotective and antioxidant activity, and its expression in cancer cells is enhanced in response to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. HO-1 is known to serve as a shield to protect cancer cells from anticancer therapy and attenuate apoptotic signals. It can be therefore reasoned that inhibition of HO-1 reduces the antioxidant level, making cancer cells more sensitive to photothermal heating. In this work, we developed dual imaging-guided oxidative-photothermal combination nanotherapeutics (OPCN) consisting of amphiphilic polymers conjugated with zinc protoporphyrin as a HO-1 inhibitor and fluorescent IR820 as a photothermal agent. A combination of OPCN and near-infrared (NIR) laser irradiation markedly increased the temperature and exerted significant toxicity through induction of apoptosis. In a mouse model of xenografts, tumors were identified by the strong fluorescence and photoacoustic signals. OPCN combined with NIR laser irradiation resulted in effective and complete thermal ablation of tumors without discernable side effects and tumor recurrence. We believe that OPCN hold tremendous translational potential for dual imaging-guided oxidative-photothermal combination anticancer therapy.


cancer; combination therapy; heme oxygenase-1; imaging; photothermal therapy

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