338P - Chitosan-capped gold nanoparticles impair radioresistant glioblastoma stem-like cells

Date 10 September 2017
Event ESMO 2017 Congress
Session Poster display session
Topics Central Nervous System Malignancies
Translational Research
Basic Principles in the Management and Treatment (of cancer)
Presenter Mihaela Aldea
Citation Annals of Oncology (2017) 28 (suppl_5): v109-v121. 10.1093/annonc/mdx366
Authors M. Aldea1, M. Potara2, O. Soritau3, I.S. Florian4, G. Kacso5
  • 1Oncology, Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 400012 - Cluj-Napoca/RO
  • 2Bio-nano-sciences, Babes-Boyai University Interdisciplinary Research Institute in Bio-Nano-Sciences, 400015 - Cluj-Napoca/RO
  • 3Tumor Biology, Ion Chiricuta Cancer Center, 400015 - Cluj-Napoca/RO
  • 4Neurosurgery, Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 400012 - Cluj-Napoca/RO
  • 5Radiotherapy, Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 400012 - Cluj-Napoca/RO



Glioblastoma is a rapidly lethal cancer with a stringent need for new treatment strategies. In this study, we tested if chitosan-capped gold nanoparticles (Chit-GNPs) may overcome the limitations of drug concentrations by an increased cell internalisation in glioblastoma stem-like cells (GSCs) and if such GNPs could enhance the response to irradiation.


GSCs lines were isolated from glioblastoma tumor fragments and characterised with stemness and neural markers. Chitosan biopolymer was used as reducing and stabilizing agent to generate Chit-GNPs through an environmentally friendly synthesis procedure. The fabricated Chit-GNPs were characterized by UV-vis-NIR extinction spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy and zeta potential measurements. GSCs and two normal cell lines were selected for in vitro investigations. The uptake and cytotoxicity of Chit-GNPs were evaluated relatively to that of citrate-capped gold nanospheres (GNPs) of similar size. Cell lines were treated with increasing concentrations of GNPs and Chit-GNPs and then irradiated with hypofractionated radiotherapy (3 consecutive fractions of 1, 2 Gy) and brachytherapy (one single fraction of 1 and 2 Gy). The effect was evaluated through the MTT cell viability test and confirmed with Trypan blue-based counting.


GSCs proved to express stem-cell markers and were highly resistant to radiotherapy. Their cell viability and proliferation were impaired by chit-GNPs with an IC50 of 10ug/mL, while remaining unaffected by simple GNP used in similar concentrations. Chit-GNPs were 15 nm in size, with a positive zeta potential and proved a superior cell internalisation compared to simple GNPs. Normal cell lines remained unaffected by GNPs and Chit-GNPs. Radiotherapy at the tested doses failed to give an additional anti-cancer effect when combined with GNP treatment.


The enhanced internalisation within GSCs and the cytotoxic effect of Chit-GNPs make this compound a suitable backbone for drug delivery in glioblastoma treatment, particularly as it proved a selective toxicity for cancer cells. Surprisingly, Chit-GNPs were highly cytotoxic to glioma cell lines irrespective of irradiation.

Clinical trial identification

Legal entity responsible for the study

Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy




All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.