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Fractionated photothermal therapy in a murine tumor model: comparison with single dose

Authors Simón M, Norregaard K, Jørgensen JT, Oddershede LB, Kjaer A

Received 15 February 2019

Accepted for publication 6 April 2019

Published 18 July 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 5369—5379


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Thiruganesh Ramasamy

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas Webster

Marina Simón,1 Kamilla Norregaard,1 Jesper Tranekjær Jørgensen,1 Lene Broeng Oddershede,2 Andreas Kjaer1

1Department of Clinical Physiology, Nuclear Medicine & PET and Cluster for Molecular Imaging, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Rigshospitalet and University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark; 2Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Purpose: Photothermal therapy (PTT) exploits the light-absorbing properties of nanomaterials such as silica-gold nanoshells (NS) to inflict tumor death through local hyperthermia. However, in in vivo studies of PTT, the heat distribution is often found to be heterogeneous throughout the tumor volume, which leaves parts of the tumor untreated and impairs the overall treatment outcome. As this challenges PTT as a one-dose therapy, this study here investigates if giving the treatment repeatedly, ie, fractionated PTT, increases the efficacy in mice bearing subcutaneous tumors.
Methods: The NS heating properties were first optimized in vitro and in vivo. Two fractionated PTT protocols, consisting of two and four laser treatments, respectively, were developed and applied in a murine subcutaneous colorectal tumor model. The efficacy of the two fractionated protocols was evaluated both by longitudinal monitoring of tumor growth and, at an early time point, by positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of 18F-labeled glucose analog 18F-FDG.
Results: Overall, there were no significant differences in tumor growth and survival between groups of mice receiving single-dose PTT and fractionated PTT in our study. Nonetheless, some animals did experience inhibited tumor growth or even complete tumor disappearance due to fractionated PTT, and these animals also showed a significant decrease in tumor uptake of 18F-FDG after therapy.
Conclusion: This study only found an effect of giving PTT to tumors in fractions compared to a single-dose approach in a few animals. However, many factors can affect the outcome of PTT, and reliable tools for optimization of treatment protocol are needed. Despite the modest treatment effect, our results indicate that 18F-FDG PET/CT imaging can be useful to guide the number of treatment sessions necessary.

Keywords: hyperthermia, cancer, nanoparticle, photothermal therapy, fractionated therapy, positron emission tomography

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