Doxorubicin-loaded hollow gold nanospheres for dual photothermal ablation and chemoembolization therapy

Rahul A. Sheth, Xiaoxia Wen, Junjie Li, Marites P. Melancon, Xin Ji, Y. Andrew Wang, Cheng Hui Hsiao, Diana S.L. Chow, Elizabeth M. Whitley, Chun Li, Sanjay Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Doxorubicin-loaded hollow gold nanospheres (Dox@HAuNS) are a promising technology for simultaneous trans-arterial tumor-targeted chemotherapy delivery and thermal ablation. We evaluated the efficacy of intra-arterial delivery of Dox@HAuNS followed by photothermal ablation (PTA) in a rabbit model of liver cancer. Adult New Zealand white rabbits (N = 25) were inoculated with VX2 tumors into the left lobe of the liver. The animals were then randomized to sham surgery (N = 5), PTA only (N = 3), Dox@HAuNS only (N = 5), HAuNS + PTA (N = 5), and Dox@HAuNS + PTA (N = 7). Nanoparticles were delivered as an emulsion with Lipiodol (Guerbet, France) via a trans-arterial approach. Following nanoparticle delivery, PTA was performed using an 808-nm fibered laser at 1.5 W for 3 min. Thermography during PTA demonstrated a sustained elevation in tumoral temperature in both HAuNS + laser and Dox@HAuNS + laser treatment groups relative to animals that underwent laser treatment without prior nanoparticle delivery. Results: There was a significant decrease in tumor volumes in all three treatment arms relative to control arms (P = 0.004). Concentrations of intratumoral doxorubicin were significantly greater in animals treated with laser compared to those that were not treated with laser (P < 0.01). Conclusions: Doxorubicin-loaded HAuNS is a promising therapeutic agent for dual ablation/chemoembolization treatment of liver cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6
JournalCancer Nanotechnology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • Drug delivery
  • Gold nanoparticles
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Thermal ablation
  • Transarterial delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Oncology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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