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Background: Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) can be used as delivery vehicles for platinum anticancer drugs, improving their
targeting and uptake into cells. Cisplatin, cis-diamminedichloridoplatinum (II), is the leading metallodrug used in the systemic
treatment of solid tumors. Its clinical use is limited by severe toxic side effects, attributed to the indiscriminate accumulation
of the drug in both normal and cancerous tissue, its nonspecific interactions with extra- and intracellular proteins, and drug
resistance, both intrinsic and acquired.
Aim: The aim of the current study is to evaluate both in vitro and in vivo anti-tumor efficacy of gold nanoparticles (GNPs)
conjugated with conventional chemotherapy drugs for the treatment of breast cancer.
Methods: GNPs were successfully used as a complex tumor-targeting drug-delivery system. The drug cisplatin was noncovalently
conjugated onto the hydrophilic assemblies of GNPs-nanostructure. Transmission and scanning electron microscopy
were used to characterize the morphological and structural properties of these drug-metallic nanostructures. The effect of
GNPs was tested in vitro in cancer cell lines and in vivo model for cancer.
Results: The cancer cells toxicity and viability in the presence of the anti-cancer drugs delivered by the GNPs were found to be
statistically more than those of cells exposed to the traditional cancer drug alone, indicating that GNPs facilitated an increased
susceptibility of cancer cells to cisplatin. Relative tumor volume (RTV) of animals treated with cisplatin and cisplatin-nanogold
are significantly lower than controls. At day 24 post treatment with cisplatin and cisplatin-nanogold conjugate indicated that
cisplatin-treated group has their RTV continuously increased while animals treated with cisplatin-nanogold has their RTV
continuously decreased. Histologically, the tumor cell density of cisplatin-nanogold conjugate -treated animals are less than
those treated with cisplatin alone.
Conclusion: This pilot study could offer a new chemotherapy strategy for patients diagnosed with breast cancer. The late effect
of cisplatin-nanogold on RTV at day 24 could be a significant chemodynamic of the drug on tumor eradication.