Near infrared (NIR)-absorbing gold nanorods (AuNRs) can be systemically or locally delivered into tumors and subsequent irradiated by nonionizing NIR laser light, and creates heat to destroy cancer cells, this technique has been demonstrated to dramatically improve the efficacy of conventional plasmonic photothermal therapy (PPTT) without contrast agents or with molecular agents of dye molecules. In the present study, we have synthesized new HNSCP-1-conjugated AuNRs for targeting the squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN), and studied the biodistribution and associated toxicity of such SCCHN-targeted AuNRs in a BALB/c mouse model and SCCHN xenograft models. Our results showed that the conjugation of HNSCP peptide to AuNRs decreased the blood circulation time compared with that of the PEG-coated AuNRs (22nm). The PEG coated-AuNRs (10,000/AuNR, 22nm) were mainly found in the liver(57%) and spleen (38%), while about 92% of the injected HNSCP-1 peptide conjugated-AuNRs (10,000/AuNR) accumulated in the liver (72 hours after AuNRs injection). The tumor-targeted AuNRs increased the accumulation of AuNRs in the tumor mass compared with that of non-targeted AuNRs. The long-term uptake fate of the AuNRs in a mouse model (15 months after injection of 3.6 μg AuNRs) has been studied, and no remarkable toxicities have been observed. Our results showed that the PPTT treatments (single dose of intratumoral injection of 0.5ug HNSCP-1-AuNRs, followed by 2 min of 0.9-1.1 W/cm2 NIR laser exposure) could inhibit the tumor growth in nude mice bearing human SCCHN Tu212 xenograft tumor model. Conclusions: HNSCP-1-AuNRs may selectively accumulate in the tumor mass and inhibit the tumor growth via the PPTT without observed toxicities.

This research was supported by NCI U01 CA 151802.

Citation Format: Xianghong Peng, Megan Mackey, Lauren Austin, Adegboyega Oyelere, Georgia Chen, Xiaohua Huang, Mostafa A. El-Sayed, Dong M. Shin. Toxicities and antitumor efficacy of tumor-targeted AuNRs in mouse model. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 104th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2013 Apr 6-10; Washington, DC. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2013;73(8 Suppl):Abstract nr 2220. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2013-2220