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Title: A Step Forward in Breast Cancer Research: From a Natural-Like Experimental Model to a Preliminary Photothermal Approach
Authors: Costa, Eduardo 
Ferreira-Gonçalves, Tânia
Cardoso, Miguel 
Coelho, João M. P.
Gaspar, Maria Manuela
Faísca, Pedro
Ascensão, Lia
Cabrita, António S. 
Reis, Catarina Pinto 
Figueiredo, Isabel V. 
Keywords: breast cancer; experimental model; DMBA; laser photothermal therapy; gold nanoparticles; epigenetic alterations
Issue Date: 18-Dec-2020
Publisher: MDPI
Project: UIDB/00645/2020 
Serial title, monograph or event: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume: 21
Issue: 24
Abstract: Breast cancer is one of the most frequently diagnosed malignancies and common causes of cancer death in women. Recent studies suggest that environmental exposures to certain chemicals, such as 7,12-Dimethylbenzanthracene (DMBA), a chemical present in tobacco, may increase the risk of developing breast cancer later in life. The first-line treatments for breast cancer (surgery, chemotherapy or a combination of both) are generally invasive and frequently associated with severe side effects and high comorbidity. Consequently, novel approaches are strongly required to find more natural-like experimental models that better reflect the tumors' etiology, physiopathology and response to treatments, as well as to find more targeted, efficient and minimally invasive treatments. This study proposes the development and an in deep biological characterization of an experimental model using DMBA-tumor-induction in Sprague-Dawley female rats. Moreover, a photothermal therapy approach using a near-infrared laser coupled with gold nanoparticles was preliminarily assessed. The gold nanoparticles were functionalized with Epidermal Growth Factor, and their physicochemical properties and in vitro effects were characterized. DMBA proved to be a very good and selective inductor of breast cancer, with 100% incidence and inducing an average of 4.7 tumors per animal. Epigenetic analysis showed that tumors classified with worst prognosis were hypomethylated. The tumor-induced rats were then subjected to a preliminary treatment using functionalized gold nanoparticles and its activation by laser (650-900 nm). The treatment outcomes presented very promising alterations in terms of tumor histology, confirming the presence of necrosis in most of the cases. Although this study revealed encouraging results as a breast cancer therapy, it is important to define tumor eligibility and specific efficiency criteria to further assess its application in breast cancer treatment on other species.
ISSN: 1422-0067
DOI: 10.3390/ijms21249681
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:FFUC- Artigos em Revistas Internacionais
FMUC Medicina - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais
FMUC Med. Dentária - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais
I&D ICBR - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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