Theranostics 2016; 6(6):762-772. doi:10.7150/thno.14988


Current Approaches of Photothermal Therapy in Treating Cancer Metastasis with Nanotherapeutics

Lili Zou1*, Hong Wang2*, Bin He2, Lijuan Zeng3, Tao Tan3, Haiqiang Cao2, Xinyu He2, Zhiwen Zhang2✉, Shengrong Guo 1, Yaping Li2 ✉

1. School of Pharmacy, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai 200240, China;
2. State key Laboratory of Drug Research & Center of Pharmaceutics, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201203, China;
3. School of Pharmacy, Shenyang Pharmaceutics University, Shenyang, 110016, China.
*These authors contributed equally.


Cancer metastasis accounts for the high mortality of many types of cancer. Owing to the unique advantages of high specificity and minimal invasiveness, photothermal therapy (PTT) has been evidenced with great potential in treating cancer metastasis. In this review, we outline the current approaches of PTT with respect to its application in treating metastatic cancer. PTT can be used alone, guided with multimodal imaging, or combined with the current available therapies for effective treatment of cancer metastasis. Numerous types of photothermal nanotherapeutics (PTN) have been developed with encouraging therapeutic efficacy on metastatic cancer in many preclinical animal experiments. We summarize the design and performance of various PTN in PTT alone and their combinational therapy. We also point out the lacking area and the most promising approaches in this challenging field. In conclusion, PTT or their combinational therapy can provide an essential promising therapeutic modality against cancer metastasis.

Keywords: Cancer metastasis, Photothermal therapy, Nanotherapeutics, Drug delivery.

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How to cite this article:
Zou L, Wang H, He B, Zeng L, Tan T, Cao H, He X, Zhang Z, Guo S, Li Y. Current Approaches of Photothermal Therapy in Treating Cancer Metastasis with Nanotherapeutics. Theranostics 2016; 6(6):762-772. doi:10.7150/thno.14988. Available from