Hollow gold nanoparticles as efficient in vivo radiosensitizing agents for radiation therapy of breast cancer

Aditi Mulgaonkar, Sina Moeendarbari, William Silvers, Gedaa Hassan, Xiankai Sun, Yaowu Hao, Weihua Mao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Radiation therapy has emerged as an important modality to treat triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) and locoregional micro-metastases after breast conservation surgery. To alleviate the side effects caused by high radiation dose, we harness the radiosensitization effects exhibited by hollow gold nanoparticles (HAuNPs: hollow core with 50 nm diameter and 35 nm shell thickness) for efficacious radiotherapy of TNBC. In this work, we report a comparative study with 4 groups of mice bearing TNBC MDA-MB-231 xenografts: (A) HAuNPs+X-radiation, (B) saline+X-radiation, (C) HAuNPs, and (D) saline. The injection of HAuNPs was maintained at 2.8 mg of HAuNPs per gram of tumor tissue. A single dose of X-radiation (10 Gy, 225 kVp) resulted in a significant tumor growth delay in groups A and B when compared to the control groups C and D. Although no significant difference in tumor growth was observed between groups A and B, the combination treatment of HAuNPs+X-radiation exhibited a significantly prolonged overall survival (p>0.05 vs. any other group). No adverse effects were observed with the use of HAuNPs as radiosensitizers. Taken together, we demonstrated the promising potential of using HAuNPs as radiosensitization agents for efficacious treatment of breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)566-574
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biomedical Nanotechnology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • Breast Cancer
  • Gold Nanoparticles
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Radiosensitization
  • X-ray

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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