Anne‐Laure Bulin , 1 , Mans Broekgaarden 1 , Frédéric Chaput 2 , Victor Baisamy 1 , Jan Garrevoet 3 , Benoît Busser 4 , 5 , Dennis Brueckner 3 , 6 , Antonia Youssef 1 , 7 , Jean‐Luc Ravanat 7 , Christophe Dujardin 8 , Vincent Motto‐Ros 8 , Frédéric Lerouge 2 , Sylvain Bohic 1 , Lucie Sancey 4 , Hélène Elleaume , 1
07 September 2020
To improve the prognosis of glioblastoma, innovative radiotherapy regimens are required to augment the effect of tolerable radiation doses while sparing surrounding tissues. In this context, nanoscintillators are emerging radiotherapeutics that down‐convert X‐rays into photons with energies ranging from UV to near‐infrared. During radiotherapy, these scintillating properties amplify radiation‐induced damage by UV‐C emission or photodynamic effects. Additionally, nanoscintillators that contain high‐Z elements are likely to induce another, currently unexplored effect: radiation dose‐enhancement. This phenomenon stems from a higher photoelectric absorption of orthovoltage X‐rays by high‐Z elements compared to tissues, resulting in increased production of tissue‐damaging photo‐ and Auger electrons. In this study, Geant4 simulations reveal that rare‐earth composite LaF 3:Ce nanoscintillators effectively generate photo‐ and Auger‐electrons upon orthovoltage X‐rays. 3D spatially resolved X‐ray fluorescence microtomography shows that LaF 3:Ce highly concentrates in microtumors and enhances radiotherapy in an X‐ray energy‐dependent manner. In an aggressive syngeneic model of orthotopic glioblastoma, intracerebral injection of LaF 3:Ce is well tolerated and achieves complete tumor remission in 15% of the subjects receiving monochromatic synchrotron radiotherapy. This study provides unequivocal evidence for radiation dose‐enhancement by nanoscintillators, eliciting a prominent radiotherapeutic effect. Altogether, nanoscintillators have invaluable properties for enhancing the focal damage of radiotherapy in glioblastoma and other radioresistant cancers.
Radiation dose‐enhancement induced by rare‐earth composite nanoscintillators is predicted by in silico simulations and unequivocally demonstrates in vitro in microtumor models of glioblastoma, using tunable monochromatic synchrotron radiation. Radiation dose‐enhancement ultimately elicitsa prominent radiotherapeutic effect in a syngeneic orthotopic model of aggressive glioblastoma. These results prove the strong ability of rare‐earth composite nanoscintillators to enhance the focal damage of radiotherapy.