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Design of multifunctional magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles/mitoxantrone-loaded liposomes for both magnetic resonance imaging and targeted cancer therapy

Authors He Y, Zhang L, Zhu D, Song C, Sun H

Received 13 February 2014

Accepted for publication 3 May 2014

Published 22 August 2014 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 4055—4066

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S61880

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Yingna He,1 Linhua Zhang,2 Dunwan Zhu,2 Cunxian Song2

1Laboratory of Chinese Medicine Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, Hebei University of Chinese Medicine, Shijiazhuang, Hebei, People’s Republic of China; 2Key Laboratory of Biomedical Material of Tianjin, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Peking Union Medical College and Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Tianjin, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: Tumor-targeting multifunctional liposomes simultaneously loaded with magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (MIONs) as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent and anticancer drug, mitoxantrone (Mit), were developed for targeted cancer therapy and ultrasensitive MRI. The gonadorelin-functionalized MION/Mit-loaded liposome (Mit-GML) showed significantly increased uptake in luteinizing hormone–releasing hormone (LHRH) receptor overexpressing MCF-7 (Michigan Cancer Foundation-7) breast cancer cells over a gonadorelin-free MION/Mit-loaded liposome (Mit-ML) control, as well as in an LHRH receptor low-expressing Sloan-Kettering HER2 3+ Ovarian Cancer (SK-OV-3) cell control, thereby leading to high cytotoxicity against the MCF-7 human breast tumor cell line. The Mit-GML formulation was more effective and less toxic than equimolar doses of free Mit or Mit-ML in the treatment of LHRH receptors overexpressing MCF-7 breast cancer xenografts in mice. Furthermore, the Mit-GML demonstrated much higher T2 enhancement than did Mit-ML controls in vivo. Collectively, the study indicates that the integrated diagnostic and therapeutic design of Mit-GML nanomedicine potentially allows for the image-guided, target-specific treatment of cancer.

Keywords: multifunctional liposome, magnetic resonance imaging, theranostic nanomedicine, mitoxantrone, gonadorelin

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