Macrophages as Nanoparticle Delivery Vectors for Photothermal Therapy of Brain Tumors.

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Certain types of stem and immune cells, which have an innate ability to target and infiltrate tumors, can be utilized as vectors to deliver several types of anticancer agents. In particular monocytes have the advantage of carrying relatively large payloads of therapeutic nanomaterials, can be patient derived in large numbers and are able to actively infiltrate tumors despite many barriers often present in the microenvironment. Monocytes can selectively cross the compromised blood–brain barrier surrounding brain tumors and are known to actively migrate to hypoxic tumor regions. Of particular interest is the observation that, following near-infrared exposure of tumors containing gold-nanoshell-loaded macrophages, sufficient hyperthermia can be generated to suppress tumor growth. Collectively, these findings demonstrate the potential of monocytes as nanoparticle delivery vectors for several types of site specific light-based cancer therapies.

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