Gold nanorod assisted near-infrared plasmonic photothermal therapy (PPTT) of squamous cell carcinoma in mice

Erin B. Dickerson, Erik C. Dreaden, Xiaohua Huang, Ivan H. El-Sayed, Hunghao Chu, Sujatha Pushpanketh, John F. McDonald, Mostafa A. El-Sayed

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1019 Scopus citations


Plasmonic photothermal therapy (PPTT) is a minimally-invasive oncological treatment strategy in which photon energy is selectively administered and converted into heat sufficient to induce cellular hyperthermia. The present work demonstrates the feasibility of in vivo PPTT treatment of deep-tissue malignancies using easily-prepared plasmonic gold nanorods and a small, portable, inexpensive near-infrared (NIR) laser. Dramatic size decreases in squamous cell carcinoma xenografts were observed for direct (P < 0.0001) and intravenous (P < 0.0008) administration of pegylated gold nanorods in nu/nu mice. Inhibition of average tumor growth for both delivery methods was observed over a 13-day period, with resorption of >57% of the directly-injected tumors and 25% of the intravenously-treated tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-66
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 28 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors graciously thank Mariam Akhtar (G.T.; Department of Biology) for her assistance with silver staining studies. Generous support from the Georgia Cancer Coalition (E.B.D.; Distinguished Cancer Scientist Award), the National Cancer Institute (M.A.E., E.C.D., and X.H.; Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence Award U54CA119338), the Robinson Family Foundation (J.F.M.), Ovarian Cycle (J.F.M.), Golfers against Cancer (J.F.M.), and the US Department of Energy (M.A.E., E.C.D., and X.H.; NO: DE-FG02-97 ER14799) is acknowledged.


  • Hyperthermia
  • Nanorod
  • Nanotechnology
  • Near-infrared
  • Photothermal therapy
  • Polyethylene glycol


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