Rice University researchers developed a new cancer therapy using nanoparticles to heat and destroy tumors and revealed encouraging results in a clinical trial.
Published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study revealed that 13 of the 15 prostate cancer patients treated with the photothermal cancer therapy evidenced no detectable signs of cancer a year after treatment.
According to Xinhua, this is believed to be the first clinical study of a nanoparticle-based, focal therapy that destroys tumors without the debilitating side effects of chemotherapy, invasive surgery, and radiation.
The Rice team developed tiny silica spheres with a thin outer layer of gold nanoshells—and thereafter injected those particles about 50 times smaller than a red blood cell into the patients.
As the particles were delivered into the patient’s peripheral blood system, they accumulated in the “leaky vasculature” of solid tumors due to their size. As the particles essentially get stuck, the research team heats them with a low-power, near-infrared laser that passes harmlessly through the healthy tissue.
The patients, 16 men aged 58 to 79 with low-to-intermediate-risk localized prostate cancer, received a focal ablation treatment that uses gold nanoparticles to heat and destroy the tumors.
The two-day treatment occurred at the study site, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The patients went home on the day of the treatment and returned for follow-up tests at three months, six months, and one year after treatment. Of the 15 that completed the treatment, only two showed detectable signs of cancer in follow up biopsies and MRIs.
An industry sponsor, startup Nanospectra Biosciences is based in Houston. It is has been set up to develop the technology for clinical uses. Formed in 2002, they have raised over $5 million in venture capital financing.
Principal Investigator Comment
Ardeshir Rastinehad, associate professor of urology and radiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, reported, “Gold-silica nanoshell infusion allows for a focused therapy that treats the cancer while sparing the rest of the prostate, thus preserving a patient’s quality of life by reducing unwanted side effects.”
Ardeshir Rastinehad, associate professor of urology and radiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Call to Action: Interested in this fascinating new technology? There are a few avenues of pursuit. The clinical investigator can be reached directly above at Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai. The industry sponsor, Nanospectra Biosciences can also be reached as we offer a link to their website—David Jorden is their CEO. Or contact TrialSite News broker services (part of our TrialSite Network) for an introduction.