Multifunctional Gold Nanoparticles for Sensitive Cancer Imaging and Specific Photoimmunotherapy
Cancer has been a severe threat to human health with more than eight million deaths and over one trillion US dollars cost each year. Therefore, there is an urgent need to innovate new approaches to improve cancer management and reduce the financial burden. We have developed a novel multifunctional gold nanostar (GNS) probe for sensitive cancer imaging and specific photoimmunotherapy. The optimized GNS nanoprobe targets cancer with the enhanced permeability and retention effect (EPR) due to the leaky tumor vasculature. The GNS nanoprobe has shown potential to reach sub-millimeter brain tumor detection with noninvasive positron emission tomography (PET). Besides, the GNS nanoprobe with tip-enhanced plasmonics performs as an efficient photon-to-heat transducer for photothermal therapy. In vivo experiment with a murine animal model demonstrates that our GNS-mediated photothermal treatment in synergy with checkpoint blockade dramatically amplifies the anti-cancer immune response and generates memorized cancer vaccine effect. Our multifunctional GNS nanoprobe has the promise to be applied in future translational medicine studies to advance cancer diagnostics and therapeutics.