Nanoparticles as radiosensitizers in radiation therapy
Warsaw Medical Physics Meeting 2015
The effectiveness of radiotherapy can be improved by radiosensitization of tumor cells. High-Z materials, which may be delivered to the tumor in the form of nanoparticles, are capable of intensifying the emission of secondary and Auger electrons after the X-ray irradiation. Gold nanoparticles gained the greatest recognition as potential radiosensitizers, but platinum or gadolinium-based particles are also considered for this purpose. Nanoparticles are coated with polymers in order to improve their biocompatibility and stability and prolong the circulation time in bloodstream. The dose enhancement properties of high-Z particles depend on their size, concentration, location in tissue and the nominal energy of the X-ray source. The accumulation of sufficient amount of nanoparticles in the tumor region still presents a problem. Efficient delivery requires the use of sophisticated targeting methods, e.g. ligands attached to particles surface and aimed at specific receptors on cancer cells.
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