Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 99–106 | Cite as

Cell Mediated Photothermal Therapy of Brain Tumors

  • Henry Hirschberg
  • Steen J. Madsen


Gold based nanoparticles with strong near infra-red (NIR) absorption are ideally suited for photothermal therapy (PTT) of brain tumors. The goal of PTT is to induce rapid heating in tumor tissues while minimizing thermal diffusion to normal brain. PTT efficacy is sensitively dependent on both nanoparticle concentration and distribution in tumor tissues. Nanoparticle delivery via passive approaches such as the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect is unlikely to achieve sufficient nanoparticle concentrations throughout tumor volumes required for effective PTT. A simple approach for improving tumor biodsitribution of nanoparticles is the use of cellular delivery vehicles. Specifically, this review focuses on the use of monocytes/macrophages (Mo/Ma) as gold nanoparticle delivery vectors for PTT of brain tumors. Although the efficacy of this delivery approach has been demonstrated in both in vitro and animal PTT studies, its clinical potential for the treatment of brain tumors remains uncertain.


Photothermal therapy Gold nanoparticles Macrophages Brain tumor 



The authors are grateful for support from the Norwegian Radium Hospital Research Foundation. Portions of this work were made possible through access to the LAMMP Program NIBIB P41EB015890 at UCI. Steen Madsen was supported, in part, by the Tony and Renee Marlon Charitable Foundation.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Beckman Laser InstituteUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health Physics and Diagnostic SciencesUniversity of NevadaLas VegasUSA

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