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The Effects of Gold Nano Sensitiser Photodynamic Therapy on the Proliferation, Invasion, and Migration of Lung Cancer Stem Cells
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1  Laser Research Centre, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Academic Editor: Alfredo Berzal-Herranz


Lung cancer relapse and post-treatment dissemination suggest the presence of drug resistant populations of cells called cancer stem cells (CSCs). Cancer metastases and the risk of secondary tumours are the most frequent causes of mortality in many cases. One important feature of lung cancer prognosis is metastases and the invasive ability of the cells, which is driven by CSCs. Considering CSC proliferation and migration associated with metastases, therapeutic strategies targeting these CSCs are considered to improve long-term clinical outcome. A minimally invasive, clinically approved cancer treatment, Photodynamic therapy (PDT), along with the use of a nano drug carrier was used in this study. PDT is based on the principle of light stimulation of a photosensitizing drug that induces tumour cell death. Nano mediated PDT using gold nanoparticles have been seen to induce cell death in lung CSCs. In this study morphological examination and various physiological experiments including, migration, proliferation, cytotoxicity, population doubling time, and cell cycle analysis assay were conducted to determine whether PDT using a gold nano sensitizer prevents CSC migration and invasion. Results show that the use of nanoPDT using a AlPcS4Cl and AuNPs conjugate can inhibit CSC migration and invasion, induce cell cycle arrest, and decrease CSC proliferative abilities. The use of a drug nano carrier in the form of AuNPs can improve the effectivity of PDT cancer treatment and specifically facilitate the inhibition of metastasis seen in lung cancer caused by CSCs, which can clinically relate to an improved prognosis.

Keywords: nanotechnology; nano materials; gold nanoparticles; photosenitizer, photodynamic therapy; metastasis; lung cancer stem cells