Xstrahl in Action: Gold nanoparticles as dose-enhancement agent for X-ray therapy of melanomas

January 31, 2018

Radiation therapy has proven to be an efficient and effective second line option for the treatment of Basal Cell and Squamous Cell Carcinomas, used in special circumstances, such as when surgical intervention is contraindicated or patient scarring concerns. Melanomas are mainly treated by surgery and rarely with radiation due to the high radioresistance of the tumor. Nevertheless, radiotherapy is the preferred treatment modality for unresectable lesions and avoiding cosmetic disfigurement caused by surgical excision.

In their study “Gold nanoparticles as dose-enhancement agent for kilovoltage X-ray therapy of melanoma” Kim SR and Kim EH investigated the therapeutic advantage of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) for kilovoltage X-ray treatment of melanoma to combat the native radioresistance.

Commercial Gold nanoparticles were evaluated for cytotoxicity and cellular internalization on the sensitivity of human skin melanoma cells, from 150 ato 450 kVp X-ray exposure, which was assessed in terms of clonogenicity with or without spherical AuNP treatment.

Gold nanoparticle treatment elicited dose enhancement effect on melanoma cells exposed to kilovoltage X-rays. Treatment with 320 μM 50 nm AuNPs before exposure to 150 kVp X-rays at 2 Gy resulted in clonogenic cell death equivalent to that caused by 4.3 Gy X-rays without AuNP treatment.

It was concluded that AuNPs of 50 nm in size can regulate melanoma cells in kilovoltage X-ray treatment by functioning as dose-enhancement agent and thus improving radioresponse of the cells. Melanomas of stages T1-T3 gain therapeutic benefits from 150 kVp X-ray treatment.

This Xstrahl In Action was adapted from a article found on a National Library of Medicine website.

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