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From the same journal

Magnetic nanoparticles and clusters for magnetic hyperthermia: Optimizing their heat performance and developing combinatorial therapies to tackle cancer

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Published copy (DOI)


  • Helena Gavilán
  • Sahitya Kumar Avugadda
  • Tamara Fernández-Cabada
  • Nisarg Soni
  • Marco Cassani
  • Binh T. Mai
  • Roy Chantrell
  • Teresa Pellegrino


Publication details

JournalChemical Society Reviews
DateAccepted/In press - 1 Sep 2021
DatePublished (current) - 1 Oct 2021
Issue number20
Number of pages54
Pages (from-to)11614-11667
Original languageEnglish


Magnetic hyperthermia (MHT) is a therapeutic modality for the treatment of solid tumors that has now accumulated more than 30 years of experience. In the ongoing MHT clinical trials for the treatment of brain and prostate tumors, iron oxide nanoparticles are employed as intra-Tumoral MHT agents under a patient-safe 100 kHz alternating magnetic field (AMF) applicator. Although iron oxide nanoparticles are currently approved by FDA for imaging purposes and for the treatment of anemia, magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) designed for the efficient treatment of MHT must respond to specific physical-chemical properties in terms of magneto-energy conversion, heat dose production, surface chemistry and aggregation state. Accordingly, in the past few decades, these requirements have boosted the development of a new generation of MNPs specifically aimed for MHT. In this review, we present an overview on MNPs and their assemblies produced via different synthetic routes, focusing on which MNP features have allowed unprecedented heating efficiency levels to be achieved in MHT and highlighting nanoplatforms that prevent magnetic heat loss in the intracellular environment. Moreover, we review the advances on MNP-based nanoplatforms that embrace the concept of multimodal therapy, which aims to combine MHT with chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy, photodynamic or phototherapy. Next, for a better control of the therapeutic temperature at the tumor, we focus on the studies that have optimized MNPs to maintain gold-standard MHT performance and are also tackling MNP imaging with the aim to quantitatively assess the amount of nanoparticles accumulated at the tumor site and regulate the MHT field conditions. To conclude, future perspectives with guidance on how to advance MHT therapy will be provided. This journal is

Bibliographical note

© The Royal Society of Chemistry 2021. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

Funding Information:
Teresa Pellegrino received her Master’s in Chemistry in 2000 and her PhD in Chemical Synthesis and Applied Enzymatic Chemistry in 2005 from the University of Bari, Italy. After working as a Post Doc at the National Nanotechnology laboratory in Lecce and as Permanent Scientist at the Nanotech Center of CNR, in 2014 she became a tenured Team Leader of the Nanomaterials for Biomedical Applications Group at the Italian Institute of Technology, Genoa, Italy. Her current research interests focus on the development of inorganic nanostructures for drug delivery, magnetic hyperthermia, photo-thermal treatment and radiotherapy exploiting cation exchange radio-protocols. She was the recipient of the ERC-Starting Grant ICARO (GA 678109) and the ERC Proof of Concept, HyperCube (GA 899661).

Funding Information:
This review is partially funded by the European Research Council-proof of principle: ERC-POC HYPERCUBE(Contract No. 899661 tp T. P.) and by the AIRC Foundation (AIRC IG-14527 to T. P.).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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