Unraveling unwanted side effects of nanotechnology-based therapies like photothermal therapy (PTT) is vital in translational nanomedicine. Herein, we monitored the relationship between autophagic response at the transcriptional level by using a PCR array and tumor formation ability by colony formation assay in the human neuroblastoma cell line, SH-SY5Y, 48 h after being exposed to two different mild hyperthermia (43 and 48 degrees C) induced by PTT. In this regard, the promotion of apoptosis and autophagy were evaluated using immunofluorescence imaging and flow cytometry analyses. Protein levels of Ki-67, P62, and LC3 were measured using ELISA. Our results showed that of 86 genes associated with autophagy, the expression of 54 genes was changed in response to PTT. Also, we showed that chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) and macroautophagy are stimulated in PTT. Importantly, the results of this study also showed significant changes in genes related to the crosstalk between autophagy, dormancy, and metastatic activity of treated cells. Our findings illustrated that PTT enhances the aggressiveness of cancer cells at 43 degrees C, in contrast to 48 degrees C by the regulation of autophagy-dependent manner.