Selective prostate cancer thermal ablation with laser activated gold nanoshells

J Urol. 2008 Feb;179(2):748-53. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2007.09.018. Epub 2007 Dec 20.


Purpose: Laser activated gold nanoshell thermal ablation represents a new, minimally invasive technology that offers benign tissue sparing thermal ablation of malignant tumors. We evaluated the efficacy of this technology for eradicating prostate cancer in a subcutaneous tumor model.

Materials and methods: The 110 nm gold nanoshells with a 10 nm gold shell are designed to act as intense near infrared absorbers. PC-3 cells were injected on the dorsum of nude mice in 3 groups, including 1-gold nanoshell plus near infrared laser, 2-saline alone and 3-near infrared laser alone. Animals received 7.0 ml/gm body weight (low dose) or 8.5 ml/gm body weight (high dose) nanoshells via tail vein injection. Control animals received saline. A 810 nm near infrared laser with a 200 mu laser fiber and an energy setting of 4 W/cm(2) was aimed at the tumor bed for 3 minutes. Tumors were measured at days 0, 7, 14 and 21. Tissue temperature was monitored during laser activation. Tumors were harvested at day 21 and stained with hematoxylin and eosin, and for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide diaphorase activity.

Results: We observed 93% tumor necrosis and regression in the high dose treated group. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide staining corroborated this finding. The ablation zone was sharply limited to the laser spot size. There was no difference in the size or tumor histology in control groups, indicating a benign course for near infrared laser treatment alone. Temperatures up to 65.4C were attained in the treated group.

Conclusions: Laser activated gold nanoshell ablation is an effective and selective technique for prostate cancer ablation in an ectopic murine tumor model.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Electrocoagulation / instrumentation*
  • Electrocoagulation / methods
  • Gold*
  • Laser Therapy / instrumentation*
  • Laser Therapy / methods
  • Male
  • Metal Nanoparticles*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy*


  • Gold