Magnetic nanoparticles as a new approach to improve the efficacy of gene therapy against differentiated human uterine fibroid cells and tumor-initiating stem cells

Fertil Steril. 2016 Jun;105(6):1638-1648.e8. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2016.03.001. Epub 2016 Mar 25.


Objective: To study whether efficient transduction and subsequent elimination of fibroid tumor-initiating stem cells during debulking of tumor cells will aid in completely eradicating the tumor as well as decreasing the likelihood of recurrence.

Design: Case control study.

Setting: Research laboratory.

Patient(s): None.

Intervention(s): Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) complexed to adenovirus (Ad-GFP) or (Ad-LacZ) used to transfect differentiated human fibroid cells in vitro.

Main outcome measure(s): Rate of transduction and tumor growth inhibition.

Result(s): We have developed a localized nonsurgical adenovirus-based alternative for the treatment of uterine fibroids that combines viral-based gene delivery with nanotechnology for more efficient targeting. Magnetic nanoparticles complexed to adenovirus, in the presence of an external magnetic field, accelerate adenovirus transduction. We observed a statistically significant increase in transduction efficiency among differentiated human fibroid cells at two different multiplicities of infection (MOI), 1 and 10, respectively, with MNPs as compared with adenovirus alone. Human fibroid stem cells transfected with Ad-LacZ expressed β-galactosidaze at a MOI of 1, 10, and 50 at 19%, 62%, and 90%, respectively, which were statistically significantly enhanced with MNPs.

Conclusion(s): When applied with adenovirus herpes simplex thymidine kinase, magnetofection statistically significantly suppressed proliferation and induced apoptosis in both cell types. Through the use of magnetofection, we will prove that a lower viral dose will effectively increase the overall safety profile of suicide gene therapy against fibroid tumors.

Keywords: Tumor stem cells; adenovirus; apoptosis; cell proliferation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / genetics
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Female
  • Gene Targeting / methods
  • Genetic Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Leiomyoma / genetics
  • Leiomyoma / pathology
  • Leiomyoma / therapy*
  • Magnetite Nanoparticles / administration & dosage*
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / drug effects
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / pathology
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Uterine Neoplasms / genetics
  • Uterine Neoplasms / therapy*


  • Magnetite Nanoparticles