Purpose: To test whether iron oxide (IO)-containing yttrium aluminosilicate (YAS) microparticles (MPs) can generate localized therapeutic hyperthermia (≥ 43°C) when injected intratumorally in an animal model of liver cancer and whether MP distributions could be visualized with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging.
Materials and methods: Twenty-one Sprague-Dawley rats implanted with N1-S1 liver tumors were assigned to alternating magnetic field (AMF) exposure following intratumoral injection with IO-YAS MPs (n = 7), sham surgery (n = 7), or baseline iron quantification (n = 7). Three fiberoptic probes allowed spatial and temporal monitoring of temperatures during 24 minutes of AMF exposure. T2-weighted turbo spin-echo MR imaging was performed within 1 hour after the procedure to detect signal voids caused by IO-YAS deposition. Hematoxylin and eosin-stained pathologic slides were also obtained, and the presence of IO-YAS was evaluated with inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy.
Results: Following AMF exposure, intratumoral temperatures after IO-YAS MP injection achieved therapeutic hyperthermia whereas those after sham surgery did not (46.6°C ± 1.3 vs 36.8°C ± 0.4; P < .0001). Within the treated group, the normal hepatic parenchyma (NHP) and rectal temperatures were 37.4°C ± 0.9 and 36.5°C ± 1.0 (P = .0809) at the conclusion of AMF exposure, respectively. A T2-weighted signal void at the tumor site was observed in all seven treated animals, and intratumoral IO-YAS was visualized on subsequent histopathologic examination in each case. The mean ratio of tumor:NHP Fe concentrations attributable to IO-YAS MPs was 108:1.
Conclusions: AMF exposure of intratumoral IO-YAS MPs generates localized therapeutic hyperthermia in an animal model of liver cancer. MR detectability and potential for combination brachytherapy warrants further investigation for thermoradiotherapy in liver cancer.
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