Combining Gold Nanoparticles with Other Radiosensitizing Agents for Unlocking the Full Potential of Cancer Radiotherapy

Published on Mar 25, 2021in Pharmaceutics4.421
· DOI :10.3390/PHARMACEUTICS13040442
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Abstract
About half of cancer patients (50%) receive radiotherapy (RT) for the treatment of local tumors. However, one of the main obstacles in RT is the close proximity of adjacent organs at risk, resulting in treatment doses being limited by significant tissue toxicity, hence preventing the necessary dose escalation that would guarantee local control. Effective local cancer therapy is needed to avoid progression of tumors and to decrease the development of systemic metastases which may further increase the possibility of resection. In an effort to do so, radiosensitizing agents are introduced to further increase damage to the tumor while minimizing normal tissue toxicity. Cisplatin and docetaxel (DTX) are currently being used as radiation dose enhancers in RT. Recent research shows the potential of gold nanoparticles (GNPs) as a radiosensitizing agent. GNPs are biocompatible and have been tested in phase I clinical trials. The focus will be on exploring the effects of adding other radiosensitizing agents such as DTX and cisplatin to the GNP-RT platform. Therefore, a combined use of local radiosensitizing agents, such as GNPs, with currently available radiosensitizing drugs could make a significant impact in future RT. The ultimate goal is to develop treatments that have limited or nonexistent side effects to improve the quality of life of all cancer patients.
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