Photothermal therapy (PTT) is a minimally invasive procedure for treating cancer. The two significant prerequisites of PTT are the photothermal therapeutic agent (PTA) and near-infrared radiation (NIR). The PTA absorbs NIR, causing hyperthermia in the malignant cells. This increased temperature at the tumor microenvironment finally results in tumor cell damage. Nanoparticles play a crucial role in PTT, aiding in the passive and active targeting of the PTA to the tumor microenvironment. Through enhanced permeation and retention effect and surface-engineering, specific targeting could be achieved. This novel delivery tool provides the advantages of changing the shape, size, and surface attributes of the carriers containing PTAs, which might facilitate tumor regression significantly. Further, inclusion of surface engineering of nanoparticles is facilitated through ligating ligands specific to overexpressed receptors on the cancer cell surface. Thus, transforming nanoparticles grants the ability to combine different treatment strategies with PTT to enhance cancer treatment. This review emphasizes properties of PTAs, conjugated biomolecules of PTAs, and the combinatorial techniques for a better therapeutic effect of PTT using the nanoparticle platform.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.