Pancreatic cancer is among the leading causes of cancer-related death and remains a formidable therapeutic challenge. To date, surgical resection and chemotherapy have been the standards of care. Methotrexate (MTX), which is recognized as a refractory drug for pancreatic cells, was conjugated to the surface of LiYF4:Ce3+ nanoparticles (NP-MTX) through a photocleavable linker molecule. When LiYF4:Ce3+ NPs are stimulated by X-rays, they emit light, which induces the photocleavage of the photolabile linker molecule to release MTX. MTX can target pancreatic tumors, which overexpress folic acid (FA) receptors and are internalized into the cell through receptor-mediated endocytosis. The synergistic effect of the NP-MTX treatment initiated by X-ray irradiation occurs due to the combination of nanoparticle sensitization and the radiosensitizing chemotherapy of the photocleaved MTX molecule. This dual sensitization effect mediated by NP-MTX enabled 40% dose enhancement, which corresponded with an increase in the generation of cytotoxic cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and enhanced S phase arrest within the cell cycle. The delivery of an ultralow radiation dose of 0.1 Gy resulted in the photocleavage of MTX from NP-MTX, and this strategy demonstrated in vivo efficacy against AsPC-1 and PANC-1 xenografted pancreatic tumors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)