Selective laser photo-thermal therapy of epithelial carcinoma using anti-EGFR antibody conjugated gold nanoparticles

Cancer Lett. 2006 Jul 28;239(1):129-35. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2005.07.035. Epub 2005 Sep 28.


Efficient conversion of strongly absorbed light by plasmonic gold nanoparticles to heat energy and their easy bioconjugation suggest their use as selective photothermal agents in molecular cancer cell targeting. Two oral squamous carcinoma cell lines (HSC 313 and HOC 3 Clone 8) and one benign epithelial cell line (HaCaT) were incubated with anti-epithelial growth factor receptor (EGFR) antibody conjugated gold nanoparticles and then exposed to continuous visible argon ion laser at 514nm. It is found that the malignant cells require less than half the laser energy to be killed than the benign cells after incubation with anti-EGFR antibody conjugated Au nanoparticles. No photothermal destruction is observed for all types of cells in the absence of nanoparticles at four times energy required to kill the malignant cells with anti-EGFR/Au conjugates bonded. Au nanoparticles thus offer a novel class of selective photothermal agents using a CW laser at low powers. The potential of using this selective technique in molecularly targeted photothermal therapy in vivo is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / therapy*
  • Epithelial Cells / radiation effects
  • ErbB Receptors / immunology*
  • Gold / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced / methods*
  • Immunoconjugates
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Nanostructures / chemistry*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Immunoconjugates
  • Gold
  • ErbB Receptors