Hyperthermia acts as a powerful adjuvant to radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Recent advances show that gold nanoparticles (Au-NPs) can mediate highly localized thermal effects upon interaction with laser radiation. The purpose of the present study was to investigate via in silico simulations the mechanisms of Au-NPs and microwave-induced hyperthermia, in correlation to predictions of tumor control (biological endpoints: tumor shrinkage and cell death) after hyperthermia treatment. We also study in detail the dependence of the size, shape and structure of the gold nanoparticles on their absorption efficiency, and provide general guidelines on how one could modify the absorption spectrum of the nanoparticles in order to meet the needs of specific applications. We calculated the hyperthermia effect using two types of Au-NPs and two types of spherical tumors (prostate and melanoma) with a radius of 3 mm. The plasmon peak for the 30 nm Si-core Au-coated NPs and the 20 nm Au-NPs was found at 590 nm and 540 nm, respectively. Considering the plasmon peaks and the distribution of NPs in the tumor tissue, the induced thermal profile was estimated for different intervals of time. Predictions of hyperthermic cell death were performed by adopting a three-state mathematical model, where “three-state” includes (i) alive, (ii) vulnerable, and (iii) dead states of the cell, and it was coupled with a tumor growth model. Our proposed methodology and preliminary results could be considered as a proof-of-principle for the significance of simulating accurately the hyperthermia-based tumor control involving the immune system. We also propose a method for the optimization of treatment by overcoming thermoresistance by biological means and specifically through the targeting of the heat shock protein 90 (HSP90), which plays a critical role in the thermotolerance of cells and tissues.
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