Neutron capture therapy (NCT) is a form of radiotherapy that exploits the potential of some specific isotopes to capture thermal neutrons and subsequently yield high linear energy transfer (LET) particles, suitable for cancer treatment. Recently, relevant technological improvements have been made in terms of accelerators as suitable neutron sources for NCT at hospitals. However, low selective delivery of current drugs to cancer cells remains as the main challenge for successful clinical application of NCT. This work presents an innovative and previously unexplored approach for the design of nanotherapeutic NCT agents.
Herein, a new concept based on carbon nanomaterials that seal 6Li active NCT nuclides is investigated. The 6Li active species are located in the inner cavity of the nanocarrier (carbon nanohorns or carbon nanotubes) and therefore, completely protected from the biological environment, avoiding toxicity and degradation. After encapsulation of the active cargo, the external surface of the nanocarrier is modified for improved biocompatibility. The developed 6Li-filled carbon nanohorns offered the possibility to explore 6Li compounds as active NCT agents by delivering therapeutic doses to cancer cells. We envisage that nanoencapsulation of 6Li can trigger the successful development and implementation of Lithium Neutron Cancer Therapy (LiNCT).
Bioactive materials for therapy and diagnosis
Lithium halide filled carbon nanocapsules: Paving the way towards lithium neutron capture therapy (LiNCT)
Gil Gonçalves, Stefania Sandoval, Marina Llenas, Belén Ballesteros, Tatiana Da Ros, Silva Bortolussi, Laura Cansolino, Cinzia Ferrari, Ian Postuma, Nicoletta Protti, Manuel Melle-Franco, Saverio Altieri, Gerard Tobías-Rossell
Carbon Volume 208, May 2023, Pages 148-159