Review of clinical applications of radiation-enhancing nanoparticles

Biotechnology reports, 2020


N Scher1, S Bonvalot2, C Le Tourneau3,4,5, E Chajon6, C Verry7,8, J Thariat9, V Calugaru1

1 – Department of Radiation Oncology, Institut Curie, Paris, France
2 – Department of Surgery, PSL University, Institute Curie, Paris, France
3 – Department of Drug Development and Innovation (D3i), Institut Curie, Paris & Saint-Cloud, France
4 – INSERM U900 Research Unit, Saint-Cloud, France
5 – Paris-Saclay University, Paris, France
6 – Department of Radiotherapy. Eugène Marquis Cancer Center, Rennes, France
7 – Grenoble Alpes University Hospital, Department of Radiotherapy 38043 Grenoble, France
8 – Rayonnement Synchrotron Pour la Recherche Médicale (STROBE), Université Grenoble Alpes, Inserm UA7, 71 Rue des Martyrs, 38000 Grenoble, France
9 – Department of Radiotherapy, François Baclesse Centre, 3 Rue Du Général Harris, 14000, Caen, France


Purpose: Clinical evidence of the radiation-enhancing effects of nanoparticles has emerged.

Materials and methods: We searched the literature in English and French on PubMed up to October 2019. The search term was « nanoparticle » AND « radiotherapy », yielding 1270 results.
Results: The two main NP used in clinical trials were hafnium oxide and gadolinium involving a total of 229 patients. Hafnium oxide NP were used in three phase 1/2 trials on sarcoma, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma or liver cancer and one phase 2/3 trial. There are six ongoing phase 1/2 clinical trials to evaluate the combination of gadolinium-based NP and RT for the treatment of brain metastases and cervical cancer.

Conclusion: So far, intratumoral hafnium oxide nanoparticles were safe and improved efficacy in locally advanced sarcoma.

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