Gold nanoparticles and radiofrequency in experimental models for hepatocellular carcinoma
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most lethal and chemo-refractory cancers, clearly, alternative treatment strategies are needed. We utilized 10 nm gold nanoparticles as a scaffold to synthesize nanoconjugates bearing a targeting antibody (cetuximab, C225) and gemcitabine. Loading efficiency of gemcitabine on the gold nanoconjugates was 30%. Targeted gold nanoconjugates in combination with RF were selectively cytotoxic to EGFR expressing Hep3B and SNU449 cells when compared to isotype particles with/without RF (P < 0.05). In animal experiments, targeted gold nanoconjugates halted the growth of subcutaneous Hep3B xenografts in combination with RF exposure (P < 0.05). These xenografts also demonstrated increased apoptosis, necrosis and decreased proliferation compared to controls. Normal tissues were unharmed. We have demonstrated that non-invasive RF-induced hyperthermia when combined with targeted delivery of gemcitabine is more effective and safe at dosages ~ 275-fold lower than the current clinically-delivered systemic dose of gemcitabine.
Gemcitabine; Hepatocellular; Hyperthermia; Nanoparticle; Radiofrequency