Elucidating the fundamental mechanisms of cell death triggered by photothermal therapy

Jilian R. Melamed, Rachel S. Edelstein, Emily S. Day

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

491 Scopus citations


Photothermal therapy (PTT) utilizes nanoparticles embedded within tumors as exogenous energy absorbers to convert laser light energy into heat to ablate cancer cells. While PTT is a promising alternative to conventional cancer therapy, under certain irradiation conditions, it can produce cellular necrosis, and this necrosis may lead to pro-inflammatory responses that are detrimental to treatment success. Recent studies have shown that PTT can be modulated to induce apoptosis rather than necrosis, which is appealing since apoptosis discourages an inflammatory response. In this issue of ACS Nano, del Pino, Pardo, de la Fuente, and colleagues reveal the intracellular signaling cascades involved in the apoptotic response to PTT using cells harboring photothermal transducing nanoprisms. In this Perspective, we present an overview of nanoparticle-mediated PTT and discuss photothermally induced apoptosis as a potential therapeutic pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-11
Number of pages6
JournalACS Nano
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 27 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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