Photothermal therapy of tumors in lymph nodes using gold nanorods and near-infrared laser light

Tatsuki Okuno, Shigeki Kato, Yuriko Hatakeyama, Junnosuke Okajima, Shigenao Maruyama, Maya Sakamoto, Shiro Mori, Tetsuya Kodama

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78 Citations (Scopus)


Lymph node dissection for regional nodal metastasis is a primary option, but is invasive and associated with adverse effects. The development of non-invasive therapeutic methods in preclinical experiments using mice has been restricted by the small lymph node size and the limited techniques available for non-invasive monitoring of lymph node metastasis. Here, we show that photothermal therapy (PTT) using gold nanorods (GNRs) and near-infrared (NIR) laser light shows potential as a non-invasive treatment for tumors in the proper axillary lymph nodes (proper-ALNs) of MXH10/Mo-lpr/lpr mice, which develop systemic swelling of lymph nodes (up to 13 mm in diameter, similar in size to human lymph nodes). Tumor cells were inoculated into the proper-ALNs to develop a model of metastatic lesions, and any anti-tumor effects of therapy were assessed. We found that GNRs accumulated in the tumor in the proper-ALNs 24 h after tail vein injection, and that irradiation with NIR laser light elevated tumor temperature. Furthermore, combining local or systemic delivery of GNRs with NIR irradiation suppressed tumor growth more than irradiation alone. We propose that PTT with GNRs and NIR laser light can serve as a new therapeutic method for lymph node metastasis, as an alternative to lymph node dissection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)879-884
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Gold nanorods
  • Lymph node metastasis
  • Photothermal therapy
  • Plasmon resonance


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