Radiosensitivity enhancement of radioresistant glioblastoma by epidermal growth factor receptor antibody-conjugated iron-oxide nanoparticles

Alexandros Bouras, Milota Kaluzova, Costas G. Hadjipanayis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


The epidermal growth factor receptor deletion variant EGFRvIII is known to be expressed in a subset of patients with glioblastoma (GBM) tumors that enhances tumorigenicity and also accounts for radiation and chemotherapy resistance. Targeting the EGFRvIII deletion mutant may lead to improved GBM therapy and better patient prognosis. Multifunctional magnetic nanoparticles serve as a potential clinical tool that can provide cancer cell targeted drug delivery, imaging, and therapy. Our previous studies have shown that an EGFRvIII-specific antibody and cetuximab (an EGFR- and EGFRvIII-specific antibody), when bioconjugated to IONPs (EGFRvIII-IONPs or cetuximab-IONPs respectively), can simultaneously provide sensitive cancer cell detection by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and targeted therapy of experimental GBM. In this study, we investigated whether cetuximab-IONPs can additionally allow for the radiosensitivity enhancement of GBM. Cetuximab-IONPs were used in combination with single (10 Gy × 1) or multiple fractions (10 Gy × 2) of ionizing radiation (IR) for radiosensitization of EGFRvIII-overexpressing human GBM cells in vitro and in vivo after convection-enhanced delivery (CED). A significant GBM antitumor effect was observed in vitro after treatment with cetuximab-IONPs and subsequent single or fractionated IR. A significant increase in overall survival of nude mice implanted with human GBM xenografts was found after treatment by cetuximab-IONP CED and subsequent fractionated IR. Increased DNA double strands breaks (DSBs), as well as increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation, were felt to represent the mediators of the observed radiosensitization effect with the combination therapy of IR and cetuximab-IONPs treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-22
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 23 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Convection-enhanced delivery
  • Epidermal growth factor receptor
  • Glioblastoma
  • Ionizing radiation
  • Iron oxide nanoparticles
  • Magnetic resonance imaging


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