Temperature-sensitive magnetic drug carriers for concurrent gemcitabine chemohyperthermia

Dong Hyun Kim*, Yang Guo, Zhuoli Zhang, Daniel Procissi, Jodi Nicolai, Reed A. Omary, Andrew C. Larson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


To improve the efficacy of gemcitabine (GEM) for the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer via local hyperthermia potentiated via a multi-functional nanoplatform permitting both in vivo heating and drug delivery is the goal of this study. Here, a chemohyperthermia approach to synergistically achieve high intra-tumoral drug concentrations, while permitting concurrent hyperthermia for more effective tumor cell kill and growth inhibition, is proposed. Drug delivery and hyperthermia are achieved using a hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC)-grafted porous magnetic drug carrier that is MRI visible to permit in vivo visualization of the biodistribution. These synthesized magnetic drug carriers produce strong T2-weighted image contrast and permit efficient heating using low-magnetic-field intensities. The thermomechanical response of HPC permits triggered GEM release confirmed during in vitro drug release studies. During in vitro studies, pancreatic cancer cell growth is significantly inhibited (≈82% reduction) with chemohyperthermia compared to chemotherapy or hyperthermia alone. Using PANC-1 xenografts in nude mice, the delivery of injected GEM-loaded magnetic carriers (GEM-magnetic carriers) is visualized with both MRI and fluorescent imaging techniques. Chemohyperthermia with intra-tumoral injections of GEM-magnetic carriers (followed by heating) results in significant increases in apoptotic cell death compared to tumors treated with GEM-magnetic carriers injections alone. Chemohyperthermia with GEM-magnetic carriers offers the potential to significantly improve the therapeutic efficacy of GEM for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. In vivo delivery confirmation with non-invasive imaging techniques could permit patient-specific adjustments therapeutic regimens for improve longitudinal outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)714-724
Number of pages11
JournalAdvanced Healthcare Materials
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014


  • Chemohyperthermia
  • Drug carriers
  • Gemcitabine
  • Nanoparticles
  • Pancreatic cancers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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