Utilization of Micron and Nano Ferrous Particles for Breast Cancer Therapy
AdvisorEvrensel, Cahit A.
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Recent study by WHO reported that the incidence rates of cancer are expected to grow by 75% in the year 2030, with breast cancer being one of the seven most commonly occurring cancers. Traditional methods of cancer treatment lead to killing of the tumor cells along with immune effector cells. This research investigated the use of ferrous particles for three novel breast cancer therapies. Studies by the collaborating research group have shown that injection of micron sized iron particles into 4T1 cancer cells implanted on BALB/c mice subjected to a static magnetic field resulted in internal damage and showed some evidence of reduced metastases. Numerical models were developed to estimate the physical damage caused in the tumor due to particle dynamics in both <italic>in vivo</italic> and <italic>in vitro</italic> experiments. These models were in agreement with the <italic>in vitro</italic> trials when the particles were suspended in an elastic medium. Comparisons with the <italic>in vivo</italic> models require nonlinear tumor properties which are, as of yet, still not available in literature. The other two treatments focused on inducing hyperthermia through alternating magnetic fields (AMF) and continuous wave (CW) lasers, hypothesizing that coupling the hyperthermia and physical damage treatments may enhance the treatment. Hyperthermia (42-46 °C) is thought to alter the function of many structural and enzymatic proteins within the tumor cells, and significantly alter their growth. AMF hyperthermia was investigated using FeCo nanoparticles (27 nm) and temperatures ranging from hyperthermia to thermal ablation levels were observed. Strong magnetic nanoparticles, such as FeCo, were shown to generate higher heat than iron-oxides, whose heating characteristics were calculated using magnetization dynamics through the Stoner-Wohlfarth model and Landau-Lifshitz-Gilbert equation. Numerical simulations differ from the experimental data, so correction factors are discussed alongside optimization parameters to increase the heating rate inside the tumor. Micron particles showed no temperature increase in the presence of an AMF. Lasers in the near infrared range show the deepest penetration into tissues, and for an 820 nm laser, the penetration depth was calculated to be on the order of few millimeters. The absorption efficiency of the micron sized iron particles was smaller than the gold-silica nanoshells used in literature; however, the iron particles were able to generate temperatures desirable for hyperthermia. These three therapies may provide a better alternative to chemotherapy or surgery by slowing the tumor growth, inhibition of untreated contralateral tumor with synergistic effects, and inhibition of metastasis to other organs.