Theranostics 2015; 5(9):1030-1044. doi:10.7150/thno.11642


Nanoparticles for Radiation Therapy Enhancement: the Key Parameters

Paul Retif1,2,3, Sophie Pinel2,3, Magali Toussaint2,3, Céline Frochot4,5,#, Rima Chouikrat4,5, Thierry Bastogne2,3,6,#, Muriel Barberi-Heyob2,3,#,✉

1. CHR Metz-Thionville, Hôpital de Mercy, Service de radiothérapie, 1 allée du Château, Ars-Laquenexy, 57530, France;
2. Université de Lorraine, CRAN, UMR 7039, Campus Sciences, BP 70239, Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy Cedex, 54506, France;
3. CNRS, CRAN, UMR 7039, Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy Cedex, 54506, France;
4. Université de Lorraine, LRGP, UMR 7274, 1 rue Grandville, Nancy, 54000, France;
5. CNRS, LRGP, UMR 7274, 1 rue Grandville, Nancy, 54000, France;
6. Université de Lorraine, INRIA-BIGS & CRAN, BP 70239, Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy Cedex, 54506, France.
# CNRS, GdR 3049 Photomed, France.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
Retif P, Pinel S, Toussaint M, Frochot C, Chouikrat R, Bastogne T, Barberi-Heyob M. Nanoparticles for Radiation Therapy Enhancement: the Key Parameters. Theranostics 2015; 5(9):1030-1044. doi:10.7150/thno.11642. Available from

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This review focuses on the radiosensitization strategies that use high-Z nanoparticles. It does not establish an exhaustive list of the works in this field but rather propose constructive criticisms pointing out critical factors that could improve the nano-radiation therapy. Whereas most reviews show the chemists and/or biologists points of view, the present analysis is also seen through the prism of the medical physicist. In particular, we described and evaluated the influence of X-rays energy spectra using a numerical analysis. We observed a lack of standardization in preclinical studies that could partially explain the low number of translation to clinical applications for this innovative therapeutic strategy. Pointing out the critical parameters of high-Z nanoparticles radiosensitization, this review is expected to contribute to a larger preclinical and clinical development.

Keywords: Cancer, Nanoparticles, Radiation therapy, Radiobiology, Radiosensitization, Photodynamic therapy.