Therapeutic applications based on metallic and magnetic nanoparticles already have prominent place in the development of anticancer nanotherapy. These nanoparticles generate heat, destroying cancer cells without damaging healthy tissues when excited by a remote energy source. The EU-funded DUALNANOTHER (Dual cancer nanotherapies combining magnetic and plasmonic hyperthermia) project studied the mechanisms of hyperthermic cancer therapies based on the activation of nanomaterials embedded into tumour cells. The main focus was on understanding how the confinement inside cells influences the heat-generating potential and the possible synergism between magnetic and plasmonic hyperthermia. Embedding of the nanomaterials into an endosomal compartment results in the modification of their local organisation and heating response. Researchers found that intracellular conditions systematically decrease the heating efficiency of magnetic nanoparticles. However, the same intracellular confinement can either increase or decrease the photothermal efficiency of plasmonic nanoparticles depending on size and laser excitation. The cumulative efficacy of magnetic and plasmonic hyperthermia was studied in solution, in in vitro cell models, and in in vivo tumour models. The simultaneous application of an alternating magnetic field and a near-infrared laser irradiation in innovative magneto-plasmonic platforms and in iron oxide nanocubes allows to efficiently increase the locally delivered heating at very low therapeutic doses. The DUALNANOTHER project improved the understanding and efficacy of physical mechanisms of nanoparticle-based treatments. These findings should pave the way for the development of new anti-cancer therapeutic tools.
Hyperthermic cancer therapy, nanoparticles, DUALNANOTHER, magnetic, hyperthermia, photothermia, magneto-photothermia