Endothelial Thermotolerance Impairs Nanoparticle Transport in Tumors.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Cancer Res, Volume 75, Issue 16, p.3255-67 (2015)


Adaptation, Physiological, Animals, Antibiotics, Antineoplastic, Cell Line, Tumor, Cells, Cultured, Doxorubicin, Drug Delivery Systems, Endothelium, Vascular, Female, Hot Temperature, Humans, Hyperthermia, Induced, Kaplan-Meier Estimate, Mice, Inbred NOD, Mice, Knockout, Mice, Nude, Mice, SCID, Mice, Transgenic, Nanoparticles, Ovarian Neoplasms, Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


The delivery of diagnostic and therapeutic agents to solid tumors is limited by physical transport barriers within tumors, and such restrictions directly contribute to decreased therapeutic efficacy and the emergence of drug resistance. Nanomaterials designed to perturb the local tumor environment with precise spatiotemporal control have demonstrated potential to enhance drug delivery in preclinical models. Here, we investigated the ability of one class of heat-generating nanomaterials called plasmonic nanoantennae to enhance tumor transport in a xenograft model of ovarian cancer. We observed a temperature-dependent increase in the transport of diagnostic nanoparticles into tumors. However, a transient, reversible reduction in this enhanced transport was seen upon reexposure to heating, consistent with the development of vascular thermotolerance. Harnessing these observations, we designed an improved treatment protocol combining plasmonic nanoantennae with diffusion-limited chemotherapies. Using a microfluidic endothelial model and genetic tools to inhibit the heat-shock response, we found that the ability of thermal preconditioning to limit heat-induced cytoskeletal disruption is an important component of vascular thermotolerance. This work, therefore, highlights the clinical relevance of cellular adaptations to nanomaterials and identifies molecular pathways whose modulation could improve the exposure of tumors to therapeutic agents.