Research Papers:

Near-infrared photothermal therapy using anti-EGFR-gold nanorod conjugates for triple negative breast cancer

Meihua Zhang, Hoe Suk Kim, Tiefeng Jin, Jisu Woo, Yin Ji Piao and Woo Kyung Moon _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:86566-86575. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.21243

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Meihua Zhang1,2,3,*, Hoe Suk Kim1,*, Tiefeng Jin1,4, Jisu Woo1, Yin Ji Piao1,2 and Woo Kyung Moon1,2

1Department of Radiology, Seoul National University Hospital, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03080, Korea

2Department of Biomedical Sciences, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-799, Korea

3Department of Radiology, Yanbian University Hospital, JiLin Province 133000, China

4Department of Pathology and Cancer Research Center, Yanbian University Medical College, Yanji 133002, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Woo Kyung Moon, email: [email protected]

Keywords: near-infrared photothermal therapy, photoacoustic imaging, breast cancer, gold nanorod, epidermal growth factor receptor

Received: May 14, 2017     Accepted: August 17, 2017     Published: September 23, 2017


Current EGFR-targeted therapy for triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) has produced disappointing results. A rational therapeutic strategy to improve EGFR-targeted treatment for TNBC is therefore needed. In this study we evaluated the feasibility of treating TNBC using photoacoustic imaging (PAI)-guided near-infrared photothermal therapy (NIR-PTT) with anti-EGFR-conjugated gold nanorods (anti-EGFR-GN). NIR-PTT combined with anti-EGFR-GN exerted synergistic anti-proliferative and apoptotic actions through upregulation of HSP70 and cleaved caspase-3, downregulation of Ki-67 and EGFR, and inhibition of several intracellular signaling molecules (mTOR, AKT, ERK1/2 and FAK). These combined effects give this approach significant efficacy. Our findings suggest PAI-guided NIR-PTT using anti-EGFR-GN represent a novel and effective strategy for EGFR-targeted therapy in TNBC.

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