Most applications of nanotechnology in cancer have focused on systemic delivery of cytotoxic drugs. Systemic delivery relies on accumulation of nanoparticles in a target tissue through enhanced permeability of leaky vasculature and retention effect of poor lymphatic drainage to increase the therapeutic index. Systemic delivery is limited, however, by toxicity and difficulty crossing natural obstructions, like the blood spine barrier. Magnetic drug targeting (MDT) is a new technique to reach tumors of the central nervous system. Here, we describe a novel therapeutic approach for high-grade intramedullary spinal cord tumors using magnetic nanoparticles (MNP). Using biocompatible compounds to form a superparamagnetic carrier and magnetism as a physical stimulus, MNP-conjugated with doxorubicin were successfully localized to a xenografted tumor in a rat model. This study demonstrates proof-of-concept that MDT may provide a novel technique for effective, concentrated delivery of chemotherapeutic agents to intramedullary spinal cord tumors without the toxicity of systemic administration.
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