Biocompatible gold nanoparticles designed to convert near-infrared light to heat; have shown to safely and effectively ablate low to intermediate-grade tumors within the prostate; according to a study conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine and published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This treatment could offer patients a targeted therapy option that would preserve critical structures; within the prostate, thus avoiding side effects associated with whole-gland treatment such as prostatectomies.
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men in the United States 11 % of men; diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime. Removal or other whole-gland treatment of the prostate carries risks of urinary incontinence; and erectile dysfunction. However, technological advances have provided clinicians; with options for focal therapies with fewer complications.
Gold nanoparticles technique
In this study, researchers tested the effectiveness of AuroLase Therapy; a treatment from medical device company Nanospectra Biosciences that is based on technology invented at Rice University by engineer and chemist Naomi Halas, PhD, and Duke University bioengineer Jennifer West, PhD. The Principal Investigator and lead author, Ardeshir Rastinehad, DO, invented the gold nanoparticles technique used in the clinical trial to target; and treat the prostate cancer cells using a custom-built MR US fusion guided platform in collaboration with Philips Healthcare.
AuroLase uses gold-silica nanoshells (GSN), particles Dr. Halas invented that are composed of a silica core; and a gold shell with a diameter of 150 nanometers. AuroShells designed to absorb energy from near-infrared light and convert it to heat; resulting in selective hyperthermic cell death, without affecting adjacent non-tumorous tissue. However, the treatment effectively demonstrated in previous cell studies and animal models. Following treatment, the particles cleared through the liver; while some remain sequestered in the liver and spleen. however, there are no known side effects.
Sixteen men aged 58 to 79 with low- to intermediate-grade prostate cancer (Gleason score of 4+3) received GSN infusion. All are diagnose and treat at The Mount Sinai Hospital using a targeted biopsy technique called magnetic resonance-ultrasound fusion imaging, uses MRI technology to extract a tissue sample directly from the tumor.
High-precision laser ablation
However, patients underwent GSN infusion and high-precision laser ablation, and received an MRI of the prostate 48-72 hours after the procedure, MRI-targeted fusion biopsies at 3 and 12 months, and a standard biopsy at 12 months. But patients are discharged on the same day as the procedure after several hours of monitoring. GSN-mediated focal laser ablation is successful in 87.5 % of lesions treat at one year of follow-up.
The goal of researchers was to find an eradication of cancer cells during biopsy. “Gold-silica nanoshells infusion allows for a focused therapy that treats the cancer, while sparing the rest of the prostate, thus preserving a patient’s quality of life by reducing unwanted side effects, which could include erectile dysfunction and/or the leakage of urine,” said Dr. Rastinehad.