A Core/Satellite Multifunctional Nanotheranostic for in Vivo Imaging and Tumor Eradication by Radiation/Photothermal Synergistic Therapy

To integrate photothermal ablation (PTA) with radiotherapy (RT) for improved cancer therapy, we constructed a novel multifunctional core/satellite nanotheranostic (CSNT) by decorating ultrasmall CuS nanoparticles onto the surface of a silica-coated rare earth upconversion nanoparticle. These CSNTs could not only convert near-infrared light into heat for effective thermal ablation but also induce a highly localized radiation dose boost to trigger substantially enhanced radiation damage both in vitro and in vivo. With the synergistic interaction between PTA and the enhanced RT, the tumor could be eradicated without visible recurrence in 120 days. Notably, hematological analysis and histological examination unambiguously revealed their negligible toxicity to the mice within a month. Moreover, the novel CSNTs facilitate excellent upconversion luminescence/magnetic resonance/computer tomography trimodal imagings. This multifunctional nanocomposite is believed to be capable of playing a vital role in future oncotherapy by the synergistic effects between enhanced RT and PTA under the potential trimodal imaging guidance.