Opportunities for near-infrared thermal ablation of colorectal metastases by guanylyl cyclase C-targeted gold nanoshells.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common malignancy and the second most common cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. While surgery remains the mainstay of therapy, approximately 50% of patients who undergo resection develop parenchymal metastatic disease. Unfortunately, current therapeutic regimens offer little improvement to the survival of patients with parenchymal metastases in the liver and lung. In that context, there is a significant unrealized opportunity at the intersection of engineering and biology for the development of novel targeted therapeutic approaches to colorectal cancer metastases. This opportunity exploits the discovery that an intestinal receptor, guanylyl cyclase C, which mediates diarrhea induced by bacterial heat-stable enterotoxins (STs), is over-expressed by metastatic colorectal tumors only. Moreover, it leverages recent advances in the fabrication of metal nanoshells with defined thicknesses absorb near-infrared (NIR) light, resulting in resonance and transfer of thermal energies of more than 40 degrees C. Thus, the conjugation of ST to gold nanoshells, which can undergo resonance excitation by NIR light and emit heat, represents a previously unrecognized approach for the targeted therapy of parenchymal colorectal cancer metastases, specifically to the liver and lung. This article discusses the potential of ST-targeted nanoshells for NIR thermal ablation of metastatic colorectal tumors and highlights the significant challenges and solutions linked to the translation of this emerging technology to patient care.
Waldman, SA; Fortina, P; Surrey, S; Hyslop, T; Kricka, LJ; Graves, DJ
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