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Effect of actively targeted copolymer coating on solid tumors eradication by gold nanorods-induced hyperthermia

  • Autori: Puleio, Roberto; Licciardi, Mariano; Varvarà, Paola; Scialabba, Cinzia; Cassata, Giovanni; Cicero, Luca; Cavallaro, Gennara; Giammona, Gaetano
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2020
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


Efforts in the field of anticancer therapy are increasingly focusing on the development of localized and selective treatments. Photothermal therapy (PTT) can lead to a spatially confined death of cancer cells, exploiting an increasing in temperature generated after UV-NIR irradiation of peculiar materials. Herein, a new actively targeted gold-based drug delivery system, named PHEA-LA-Fol-AuNRs/Iri, was explored for hyperthermia and chemotherapy colon cancer treatment. Gold nanorods were stabilized using a folate-derivative of α,β-poly(N-2-hydroxyethyl)-D,L-aspartamide (PHEA-LA-PEG-FA) as coating agent and then loaded with the antineoplastic drug irinotecan (Iri). The efficacy of empty and irinotecan-bearing systems was investigated in vitro on human colon cancer (HCT116) cell line, as well as in vivo, employing a xenograft mouse model of colon cancer. After laser treatment, both nanostructures tested induced a considerable deceleration in tumor growth overtime, achieving the total eradication of the cancer when the nanosystems produced were intratumorally administered. Biodistribution data showed that the polymer coated nanorods were able to preferentially accumulate in the tumor site. Considering the excellent stability in aqueous media, the capacity to reach the tumor site and, finally, the in vivo efficacy, PHEA-LA-Fol-AuNRs/Iri might be recommended as an effective tool in the chemotherapy and PTT of colon cancer