Drug delivery systems combined multimodal therapy strategies are very promising in cancer theranostic applications. In this work, a new drug-delivery vehicles based on human serum albumin (HSA)-coated gold nanorods (GNR/PSS/HSA NPs) was developed. The success of coating was verified by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), zeta potential and fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Furthermore, it is demonstrated that doxorubicin (DOX) is successfully loaded among multilayered gold nanorods by the electrostatic and hydrophobic force, and DOX@GNR/PSS/HSA NPs were highly biocompatible and stable in various physiological solutions. The NPs possess strong absorbance in nearinfrared (NIR) region, and high photothermal conversion efficiency for outstanding photothermal therapy applications. A bimodal drug release triggered by proteinase or NIR irradiation has been revealed, resulting in a significant chemotherapeutic effect in tumor sites because of the preferential drug accumulation and triggered release. Importantly, the in vitro and in vivo experiments demonstrated that DOX@GNR/PSS/HSA NPs, which combined photothermal and chemotherapy for cancer therapy, revealing a remarkably superior synergistic anticancer effect over either monotherapy. All these results suggested a considerable potential of DOX@GNR/PSS/HSA NPs nano-platform for antitumor therapy.