, Volume 15, Issue 8, pp 593-601

Radiosensitization by gold nanoparticles

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Abstract

Recent years brought increasing use of gold nano particles (GNP) as a model platform for interaction of irradiation and GNPs aiming radiosensitization. Endocytosis seems to be one of the major pathways for cellular uptake of GNPs. Internalization mechanism of GNPs is likely receptor-mediated endocytosis, influenced by GNP size, shape, its coating and surface charging. Many showed that DNA damage can occur as a consequence of metal-enhanced production of low energy electrons, Auger electrons and alike. Kilovoltage radiotherapy (RT) carries significantly higher dose enhancement factor (DEF) that is observed with megavoltage irradiations, the latter usually been at the order of 1.1–1.2. Higher gold concentrations seem to carry higher risk of toxicity, while with lower concentrations the DEF can be reduced. Adding a chemotherapeutic agent could increase level of enhancement. Clinical trials are eagerly awaited with a promise of gaining more knowledge deemed necessary for more successful transition to widespread clinical practice.