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Engineered Prussian Blue Nanoparticles for Photothermal Therapy of Pediatric Tumors

Key Personnel

  • Rohan Fernandes, PhD 
  • Elizabeth E. Sweeney, PhD 
  • Juliana Cano-Mejia 
  • Rachel Burga 
  • Russell Cruz, MD, PhD 
  • Anthony Sandler, MD 
  • Lina Chakrabarti, PhD

Surgery is one of the mainstays of cancer therapy but has associated risks – it can be invasive and result in debilitating loss of function. Motivated by this need for less invasive interventions for cancer therapy, we have engineered Prussian blue nanoparticles for photothermal therapy of pediatric tumors. In photothermal therapy, precisely directed near infrared light absorbing nanoparticles within a tumor are irradiated by a low-power near infrared laser resulting in non-invasive, precise, rapid heating and ablation of the tumor. Since the human body exhibits low absorbance at near infrared wavelengths, the heating effect is minimal when using the low-power laser alone. Compared with other nanoparticles, our engineered Prussian blue nanoparticles exhibit high photothermal conversion efficiencies and are biodegradable mitigating concerns associated with the long-term fate and toxicity of the nanoparticles within the body. In preclinical animal trials, tumor-bearing mice treated with Prussian blue nanoparticle-based photothermal therapy exhibited lower tumor growth rates and increased survival relative to untreated mice. Ongoing studies are investigating the immune response to photothermal therapy with the goal of generating a robust antitumor immune response. These studies demonstrate the potential of our Prussian blue nanoparticle for photothermal therapy as a novel alternative therapy to surgery for tumor therapy.