Gold nanoparticles enhance anti-tumor effect of radiotherapy to hypoxic tumor

Mi Sun Kim, Eun Jung Lee, Jae Won Kim, Ui Seok Chung, Won Gun Koh, Ki Chang Keum, Woong Sub Koom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Hypoxia can impair the therapeutic efficacy of radiotherapy (RT). Therefore, a new strategy is necessary for enhancing the response to RT. In this study, we investigated whether the combination of nanoparticles and RT is effective in eliminating the radioresistance of hypoxic tumors. Materials and Methods: Gold nanoparticles (GNPs) consisting of a silica core with a gold shell were used. CT26 colon cancer mouse model was developed to study whether the combination of RT and GNPs reduced hypoxia-induced radioresistance. Hypoxia inducible factor-1a (HIF-1a) was used as a hypoxia marker. The 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) staining were conducted to evaluate cell death. Results: Hypoxic tumor cells had an impaired response to RT. GNPs combined with RT enhanced anti-tumor effect in hypoxic tumor compared with RT alone. The combination of GNPs and RT decreased tumor cell viability compare to RT alone in vitro. Under hypoxia, tumors treated with GNPs + RT showed a higher response than that shown by tumors treated with RT alone. When a reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenger was added, the enhanced antitumor effect of GNPs + RT was diminished. Conclusion: In the present study, hypoxic tumors treated with GNPs + RT showed favorable responses, which might be attributable to the ROS production induced by GNPs + RT. Taken together, GNPs combined with RT seems to be potential modality for enhancing the response to RT in hypoxic tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-238
Number of pages9
JournalRadiation Oncology Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Sept

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016. The Korean Society for Radiation Oncology.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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