Nanoshells for prostate tumor treatment

Photothermal ablation of prostate tumors using gold-silica nanoshells could represent a targeted therapeutic strategy that reduces the risk of serious side effects, a study suggests. Prostate cancer is a leading cause of cancer death among men in the United States. Currently available whole-gland treatment strategies carry undesirable side effects. In a small clinical trial exploring a targeted approach, Ardeshir Rastinehad, Naomi Halas, and colleagues demonstrate the safety and feasibility of gold-silica nanoshells designed to convert near-infrared light into heat for photothermal ablation of prostate tumors. Fifteen patients diagnosed with low-risk or intermediate-risk localized prostate cancer received an intravenous infusion of the nanoshells, which accumulate preferentially within tumors in part due to their abnormal vasculature. One day after treatment, guided by magnetic resonance-ultrasound (MR/US) fusion imaging, a laser catheter housing an optical fiber was used to deliver near-infrared light through thin tubes inserted into the prostate, heating the nanoshells. None of the patients reported serious side effects during the procedure or at the 90-day follow-up. At 12 months, MR/US fusion biopsies revealed that the vast majority of treated lesions showed no evidence of tumor in the ablation zone. According to the authors, although photothermal ablation of prostate tumors using gold-silica nanoshells could represent a potential targeted therapy, a large-scale study is needed to assess the efficacy of this approach.

Article #19-06929: “Gold nanoshell-localized photothermal ablation of prostate tumors in a clinical pilot device study,” by Ardeshir Rastinehad et al.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Naomi Halas, Rice University, Houston, TX; e-mail:

; Ardeshir Rastinehad, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY; e-mail:


This part of information is sourced from

Naomi Halas

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