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X-ray Induced Photodynamic Therapy with CsI(Na)@MgO Nanoparticles and 5-Aminolevulinic Acid for Cancer Treatment

Fangchao Jiang, speaker
Fangchao Jiang
Graduate Student, Department of Chemistry
University of Georgia
Chemistry Building, Room 400
Materials Chemistry and Nanoscience Seminar

X-ray-induced photodynamic therapy (X-PDT) holds the potential to overcome the shallow tissue penetration issue associated with conventional photodynamic therapy (PDT). To this end, complex and sometimes toxic scintillator-photosensitizer nanoconjugates are often used, posing barriers for large-scale manufacturing and regulatory approval. Herein, we report a streamlined X-PDT strategy based on CsI(Na)@MgO nanoparticles and 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA). 5-ALA is a clinically approved photosensitizer, converted to protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) in cancer cells’ mitochondria. CsI(Na)@MgO nanoparticles produce strong ~410 nm X-ray luminescence, which matches the Soret band of PpIX. We hypothesize that the CsI(Na)@MgO-and-5-ALA combination can mediate X-PDT wherein mitochondria-targeted PDT synergizes with DNA-targeted irradiation for cancer cell killing. Because scintillator nanoparticles and photosensitizer are administered separately, the approach forgoes issues such as self-quenching or uncontrolled release of photosensitizers. When tested in vitro with 4T1 cells, the CsI(Na)@MgO and 5-ALA combination elevated radiation-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS), enhancing damages to mitochondria, DNA, and lipids, eventually reducing cell proliferation and clonogenicity. When tested in vivo in 4T1 models, X-PDT with the CsI(Na)@MgO and 5-ALA combination significantly improved tumor suppression and animal survival relative to radiation therapy (RT) alone. After treatment, the scintillator nanoparticles, made of low-toxic alkali and halide elements, were efficiently excreted, causing no detectable harm to the hosts. Overall, separately administering CsI(Na)@MgO nanoparticles and 5-ALA represents a safe and streamlined X-PDT approach with a potential in clinical translation.

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