Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common and aggressive primary brain tumor, with median survival of approximately 10 months and only 5% of patients surviving greater than 5 years after treatment (1). Surgery and radiotherapy are the main treatment modalities for primary brain tumors, but the associated risks are high when infiltrative tumors are positioned near sensitive regions in the brain. Nanoshells, nanoparticles characterized by a spherical silica core and a gold shell, may provide the opportunity to treat brain tumors in a minimally invasive manner, reducing the risk associated with treatment. Upon exposure to a near-infrared laser, nanoshells convert light energy into heat that can thermally ablate cancerous cells (2). Targeted photothermal ablation of human glioma and medulloblastoma cells has already been demonstrated with this technique in vitro (3).

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