In a mouse model of urinary bladder cancer, photothermal treatment with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-directed gold nanorods results in considerable antineoplastic activity without gross toxicity, researchers at the University of Colorado have reported.
“This is a strong proof of principle that this sort of approach—that is, intravesicular delivery of nanoparticles followed by the application of near-infrared light—is beyond theoretical and can be done at the organism level, which is an important step forward,” said senior author Thomas W. Flaig, MD, of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora. Results of the study were published in Bladder Cancer (2017; 3:201-10).
Targeting cancers with gold nanorods exposed to near-infrared light is not a new concept. However, applying this concept in a model of superficial bladder cancer is compelling because it avoids some of the potential limitations of the approach in other tumor types.
“Because superficial bladder cancer is directly accessible through routine catheterization, we get around a lot of the issues other groups have had about not being able to deliver their drug to site of disease,” Dr. Flaig said in an interview with Urology Times.