Magnetic resonance imaging-visible amonafide-eluting alginate microspheres, a novel drug carrier for targeted arterial-infusion chemotherapy for liver tumors


Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) is a kind of technique that selectively infuse chemotherapy drugs in to artery, and can be used for treating hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) as a palliative treatment. However, for long-term patient, this treatment offers only modest effect, due to the lack of effective drugs and/or drug carriers. To solve this problem, Kim et al. demonstrated a novel approach that facilitates arterial-infusion chemotherapy with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-visible amonafide-eluting alginate microspheres, and tested this approach on a xenograft rodent model. The article was published in Theranostics.


This method involves an effective anti-tumor drug amonafide (AMN), acts as a DNA intercalator and enable to cause serious adverse effects. As the result, the targeted delivery system for AMN is crucial for avoiding the toxicities. For drug carrier, alginate microspheres is a promising candidate due to its biocompatibility and biodegradability. Together with microfluidic techniques, which control formation of alginate microspheres in the size, researchers suggested that patient-specific adjustments of microsphere delivery to the targeted liver tumors can be realized. In this study, the microspheres included magnetic clusters that permit MRI and durg-release profile. The delivery of drug was successful in a xenograft rodent model with these microspheres to liver tumors. A further investigation is required for examining the therapeutic responses to this approach in rats.


Theranostics 2015; 5(5):477-488.

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