A multifunctional nanoplatform for imaging, radiotherapy, and the prediction of therapeutic response

Casey McQuade, Ajlan Al Zaki, Yaanik Desai, Michael Vido, Timothy Sakhuja, Zhiliang Cheng, Andrew Tsourkas, Robert J. Hickey, Daniel Joh, Gary Kao, Jay F. Dorsey, So Jung Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Gold nanoparticles have garnered interest as both radiosensitzers and computed tomography (CT) contrast agents. However, the extremely high concentrations of gold required to generate CT contrast is far beyond that needed for meaningful radiosensitization, which limits their use as combined therapeutic-diagnostic (theranostic) agents. To establish a theranostic nanoplatform with well-aligned radiotherapeutic and diagnostic properties for better integration into standard radiation therapy practice, a gold- and superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle (SPION)-loaded micelle (GSM) is developed. Intravenous injection of GSMs into tumor-bearing mice led to selective tumoral accumulation, enabling magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of tumor margins. Subsequent irradiation leads to a 90-day survival of 71% in GSM-treated mice, compared with 25% for irradiation-only mice. Furthermore, measurements of the GSM-enhanced MR contrast are highly predictive of tumor response. Therefore, GSMs may not only guide and enhance the efficacy of radiation therapy, but may allow patients to be managed more effectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)834-843
Number of pages10
Issue number7
StatePublished - 18 Feb 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
C. McQuade and A. Al Zaki contributed equally to this work. The authors gratefully acknowledge Dr. Cameron Koch, Walter T. Jenkins, and Lee Shuman for insightful discussions and technical support with the SARRP, Dewight Williams for assistance with the TEM, and David Vann for help with ICP‐OES. This work was supported by NIH/NINDS (RC1 CA145075 and K08 NS076548, JD), NIH/NIBIB (R21 EB013754 and R01 EB012065, AT), NIH/NCI (R01 CA157766, AT; R01 CA175480, ZC; R01 CA181429; JD and AT) and the Burroughs Wellcome Career Award for Medical Scientists (1006792; JD).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.


  • Gold
  • Iron oxide
  • Magnetic resonance
  • Nanoparticles
  • Radiation therapy


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