Although preliminary clinical trials are ongoing, successful the use of iron-oxide magnetic nanoparticles (IONP) for heatbased cancer treatments will depend on advancements in: 1) nanoparticle platforms, 2) delivery of a safe and effective alternating magnetic field (AMF) to the tumor, and 3) development of non-invasive, spatially accurate IONP imaging and quantification technique. This imaging technique must be able to assess tumor and normal tissue anatomy as well as IONP levels and biodistribution. Conventional CT imaging is capable of detecting and quantifying IONPs at tissue levels above 10 mg/gram; unfortunately this level is not clinically achievable in most situations. Conventional MRI is capable of imaging IONPs at tissue levels of 0.05 mg/gm or less, however this level is considered to be below the therapeutic threshold. We present here preliminary in vivo data demonstrating the ability of a novel MRI technique, Sweep Imaging with Fourier Transformation (SWIFT), to accurately image and quantify IONPs in tumor tissue in the therapeutic concentration range (0.1-1.0 mg/gm tissue). This ultra–short, T2 MRI method provides a positive Fe contrast enhancement with a reduced signal to noise ratio. Additional IONP signal enhancement techniques such as inversion recovery spectroscopy and variable flip angle (VFA) are also being studied for potential optimization of SWIFT IONP imaging. Our study demonstrates the use of SWIFT to assess IONP levels and biodistribution, in murine flank tumors, following intra-tumoral and systemic IONP administration. ICP-MS and quantitative histological techniques are used to validate the accuracy and sensitivity of SWIFT-based IONP imaging and quantification.
Iron oxide nanoparticles (IONP) have therapeutic potential to deliver a thermal dose to tumors when activated in an alternating magnetic field (AMF). Through various targeting methods such as antibody labeling or injection site choice, delivery of IONPs to tumors yields enhanced treatment accuracy and efficacy. Despite this advantage, delivery an AMF, which is sufficient to result in clinically relevant IONP heating, can result in nonspecific tissue heating via the generation of eddy currents and tissue permeated by local electric fields (joule heating). The production of eddy current heating is a function of tissue size, geometry and composition as well as coil design and operation. The purpose of this research is to increase the level of energy deposited into the IONPs versus the non-target tissue (power ratio/PR)1 in order to improve target heating and reduce nonspecific tissue damage. We propose to improve the PR using two primary concepts: (1) reduce power deposition into non-target tissue by manipulating the fields and eddy current flow and (2) enhance heat removal from non-target tissue. We have shown that controlling tissue placement within the AMF field, accounting for tissue geometry, utilizing external cooling devices, and modifying the field properties can decrease non-target heating by more than 50%, at clinically relevant AMF levels, thereby allowing for an increase in thermal dose to the tumor and increasing the therapeutic ratio.