Highly selective CD44-specific gold nanorods for photothermal ablation of tumorigenic subpopulations generated in MCF7 mammospheres
Eugene Lee ; Yoochan Hong ; Jaemoon Yang ; Yong-Min Huh ; Jin-Suck Suh ; Seungjoo Haam ; Jihye Choi
Nanotechnology, Vol.23(46) : 465101, 2012
Heterogeneous stem-like populations within tumor tissues are the primary suspects in causing cancer recurrence and malignancy. It is essential to selectively kill these tumorigenic populations. We created a novel system for photothermally ablating specific cells from three-dimensional mammospheres. A CD44-positive subpopulation, with tumorigenic and self-renewal potential, spontaneously arises in MCF7 breast cancer cell-engineered mammospheres. Using anti-CD44 antibody-linked gold nanorods, which strongly absorb near infrared light and increase local temperature, we effectively targeted and photo-ablated atypical cells. This biomarker-specific photothermal ablation model, using a smart nanoplatform, is a promising new strategy for selectively killing cancer cells, while sparing normal tissues.