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Improving proton therapy by metal-containing nanoparticles: nanoscale insights

Authors Schlathölter T, Eustache P, Porcel E, Salado D, Stefancikova L, Tillement O, Lux F, Mowat P, Biegun AK, van Goethem MJ, Remita H, Lacombe S

Received 29 October 2015

Accepted for publication 22 January 2016

Published 15 April 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 1549—1556


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Zhaogang Yang

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas J Webster

Thomas Schlathölter,1 Pierre Eustache,2 Erika Porcel,2 Daniela Salado,2 Lenka Stefancikova,2 Olivier Tillement,3 Francois Lux,3 Pierre Mowat,3 Aleksandra K Biegun,4 Marc-Jan van Goethem,4 Hynd Remita,5 Sandrine Lacombe2

1Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands; 2Institut des Sciences Moléculaires d’Orsay (ISMO), Univ. Paris Sud, CNRS, Université Paris Saclay, Orsay Cedex, 3Institut Lumière Matière, Villeurbanne Cedex, France; 4Kernfysisch Versneller Instituut – Center for Advanced Radiation Technology (KVI-CART), University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands; 5Laboratoire de Chimie Physique, Universite Paris-Sud, Orsay Cedex, France

Abstract: The use of nanoparticles to enhance the effect of radiation-based cancer treatments is a growing field of study and recently, even nanoparticle-induced improvement of proton therapy performance has been investigated. Aiming at a clinical implementation of this approach, it is essential to characterize the mechanisms underlying the synergistic effects of nanoparticles combined with proton irradiation. In this study, we investigated the effect of platinum- and gadolinium-based nanoparticles on the nanoscale damage induced by a proton beam of therapeutically relevant energy (150 MeV) using plasmid DNA molecular probe. Two conditions of irradiation (0.44 and 3.6 keV/µm) were considered to mimic the beam properties at the entrance and at the end of the proton track. We demonstrate that the two metal-containing nanoparticles amplify, in particular, the induction of nanosize damages (>2 nm) which are most lethal for cells. More importantly, this effect is even more pronounced at the end of the proton track. This work gives a new insight into the underlying mechanisms on the nanoscale and indicates that the addition of metal-based nanoparticles is a promising strategy not only to increase the cell killing action of fast protons, but also to improve tumor targeting.

Keywords: gadolinium-based nanoparticles, platinum nanoparticles, nanosensitization, theranostics

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