Image-guided interventional therapy for cancer with radiotherapeutic nanoparticles

Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2014 Sep 30:76:39-59. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2014.07.001. Epub 2014 Jul 9.


One of the major limitations of current cancer therapy is the inability to deliver tumoricidal agents throughout the entire tumor mass using traditional intravenous administration. Nanoparticles carrying beta-emitting therapeutic radionuclides that are delivered using advanced image-guidance have significant potential to improve solid tumor therapy. The use of image-guidance in combination with nanoparticle carriers can improve the delivery of localized radiation to tumors. Nanoparticles labeled with certain beta-emitting radionuclides are intrinsically theranostic agents that can provide information regarding distribution and regional dosimetry within the tumor and the body. Image-guided thermal therapy results in increased uptake of intravenous nanoparticles within tumors, improving therapy. In addition, nanoparticles are ideal carriers for direct intratumoral infusion of beta-emitting radionuclides by convection enhanced delivery, permitting the delivery of localized therapeutic radiation without the requirement of the radionuclide exiting from the nanoparticle. With this approach, very high doses of radiation can be delivered to solid tumors while sparing normal organs. Recent technological developments in image-guidance, convection enhanced delivery and newly developed nanoparticles carrying beta-emitting radionuclides will be reviewed. Examples will be shown describing how this new approach has promise for the treatment of brain, head and neck, and other types of solid tumors.

Keywords: Beta-emitting radionuclides; Convection enhanced delivery; Drug delivery; Imaging; Liposomes; Radionuclide therapy; Rhenium-186; Solid tumor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced
  • Nanoparticles* / therapeutic use
  • Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Radiopharmaceuticals* / therapeutic use
  • Radiotherapy, Image-Guided*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals