Introduction: Radiation therapy for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma is constrained by radiotoxicity to normal tissue. We demonstrate 100 nm theranostic nanoparticles for image-guided radiation therapy planning and enhancement in rat head and neck squamous cell carcinoma models. Methods: PEG conjugated theranostic nanoparticles comprising of Au nanorods coated with Gadolinium oxide layers were tested for radiation therapy enhancement in 2D cultures of OSC-19-GFP-luc cells, and orthotopic tongue xenografts in male immunocompromised Salt sensitive or SS rats via both intratumoral and intravenous delivery. The radiation therapy enhancement mechanism was investigated. Results: Theranostic nanoparticles demonstrated both X-ray/magnetic resonance contrast in a dose-dependent manner. Magnetic resonance images depicted optimal tumor-to-background uptake at 4 h post injection. Theranostic nanoparticle + Radiation treated rats experienced reduced tumor growth compared to controls, and reduction in lung metastasis. Conclusions: Theranostic nanoparticles enable preprocedure radiotherapy planning, as well as enhance radiation treatment efficacy for head and neck tumors.
- DNA damage
- oral squamous cell carcinoma