Molecules (Basel, Switzerland)

Treatment Efficiency of Free and Nanoparticle-Loaded Mitoxantrone for Magnetic Drug Targeting in Multicellular Tumor Spheroids.

PMID 26437393


Major problems of cancer treatment using systemic chemotherapy are severe side effects. Magnetic drug targeting (MDT) employing superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPION) loaded with chemotherapeutic agents may overcome this dilemma by increasing drug accumulation in the tumor and reducing toxic side effects in the healthy tissue. For translation of nanomedicine from bench to bedside, nanoparticle-mediated effects have to be studied carefully. In this study, we compare the effect of SPION, unloaded or loaded with the cytotoxic drug mitoxantrone (MTO) with the effect of free MTO, on the viability and proliferation of HT-29 cells within three-dimensional multicellular tumor spheroids. Fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry showed that both free MTO, as well as SPION-loaded MTO (SPION(MTO)) are able to penetrate into tumor spheroids and thereby kill tumor cells, whereas unloaded SPION did not affect cellular viability. Since SPION(MTO) has herewith proven its effectivity also in complex multicellular tumor structures with its surrounding microenvironment, we conclude that it is a promising candidate for further use in magnetic drug targeting in vivo.