The use of iron oxide nanoparticles for pancreatic cancer therapy

Malekigorji, Maryam and Curtis, Anthony D. M. and Hoskins, Clare (2014) The use of iron oxide nanoparticles for pancreatic cancer therapy. Journal of Nanomedicine Research, 1 (1). 00004. (

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Over the last decade major advances have been made in the treatment of cancer such as breast and leukaemia. However, no satisfactory progress has been made in the effective treatment of pancreatic cancer. Treatment of this disease is hindered by resistance of tumor cells to chemotherapy and impaired drug delivery after administration. Pancreatic adenocarcinomas characteristically form a dense stroma, which hinders drug penetration. Increasing administration dosage may provide increased therapeutic effects. However, toxic drug molecules do not act selectively to tumor cells and, as such; a vast range of undesirable side effects can be experienced. Nano-sized formulations of cytotoxic agents have proved to passively target pancreatic adenocarcinomas and promote increased drug efficacy. This is thought to be due to the accumulation via enhanced permeability and retention resulting in deeper drug penetration. Nanoparticles with easily modified surfaces have been investigated extensively in recent years and play a pivotal role in biomedicine. In recent years, magnetic NPs have been increasingly explored for clinical applications, such as drug delivery, magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic fluid hyperthermia for diagnosis and cancer therapy. In comparison with traditional cancer therapy, magnetic field operated therapeutic approaches can treat cancer in an unconventional but more effective and safer way. In this literature review, we highlight the recent advances in the use of iron oxide nanoparticles in pancreatic cancer therapy.