Development of an Electroporation and Nanoparticle-based Therapeutic Platform for Bone Metastases

Marites P Melancon, Tomas Appleton Figueira, David T Fuentes, Li Tian, Yang Qiao, Jianhua Gu, Mihai Gagea, Joe E Ensor, Nina M Muñoz, Kiersten L Maldonado, Katherine Dixon, Amanda McWatters, Jennifer Mitchell, Mark McArthur, Sanjay Gupta, Alda L Tam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Purpose To assess for nanopore formation in bone marrow cells after irreversible electroporation (IRE) and to evaluate the antitumoral effect of IRE, used alone or in combination with doxorubicin (DOX)-loaded superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoparticles (SPIO-DOX), in a VX2 rabbit tibial tumor model. Materials and Methods All experiments were approved by the institutional animal care and use committee. Five porcine vertebral bodies in one pig underwent intervention (IRE electrode placement without ablation [n = 1], nanoparticle injection only [n = 1], and nanoparticle injection followed by IRE [n = 3]). The animal was euthanized and the vertebrae were harvested and evaluated with scanning electron microscopy. Twelve rabbit VX2 tibial tumors were treated, three with IRE, three with SPIO-DOX, and six with SPIO-DOX plus IRE; five rabbit VX2 tibial tumors were untreated (control group). Dynamic T2*-weighted 4.7-T magnetic resonance (MR) images were obtained 9 days after inoculation and 2 hours and 5 days after treatment. Antitumor effect was expressed as the tumor growth ratio at T2*-weighted MR imaging and percentage necrosis at histologic examination. Mixed-effects linear models were used to analyze the data. Results Scanning electron microscopy demonstrated nanopores in bone marrow cells only after IRE (P , .01). Average volume of total tumor before treatment (503.1 mm3 ± 204.6) was not significantly different from those after treatment (P = .7). SPIO-DOX was identified as a reduction in signal intensity within the tumor on T2*-weighted images for up to 5 days after treatment and was related to the presence of iron. Average tumor growth ratios were 103.0% ± 75.8 with control treatment, 154.3% ± 79.7 with SPIO-DOX, 77% ± 30.8 with IRE, and -38.5% ± 24.8 with a combination of SPIO-DOX and IRE (P = .02). The percentage residual viable tumor in bone was significantly less for combination therapy compared with control (P = .02), SPIO-DOX (P , .001), and IRE (P = .03) treatment. The percentage residual viable tumor in soft tissue was significantly less with IRE (P = .005) and SPIO-DOX plus IRE (P = .005) than with SPIO-DOX. Conclusion IRE can induce nanopore formation in bone marrow cells. Tibial VX2 tumors treated with a combination of SPIO-DOX and IRE demonstrate enhanced antitumor effect as compared with individual treatments alone. © RSNA, 2017 Online supplemental material is available for this article.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-157
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • Animals
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Bone Marrow Cells
  • Bone Neoplasms
  • Doxorubicin
  • Electroporation
  • Magnetite Nanoparticles
  • Models, Biological
  • Nanopores
  • Rabbits
  • Swine
  • Tibia
  • Journal Article


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