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Application of dextran-coated iron oxide nanoparticles in enhancing the radiosensitivity of cancerous cells in radiotherapy with high-energy electron beams

1 Student Research Committee, Faculty of Medicine, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran
2 Department of Medical Physics, Faculty of Medicine, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran
3 Pharmaceutical Science Research Center, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Karim Khoshgard,
Department of Medical Physics, Faculty of Medicine, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Sorkheh-Lizhe Blvd, P. O. Box: 1568, Kermanshah
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcrt.JCRT_19_17

Purpose: Nowadays, cancer is one of the most important causes of morbidity and mortality in the world. The ideal aim of radiotherapy is delivering a lethal radiation dose to tumor cells while minimizing radiation exposure to healthy tissues around the tumor. One way to increase the dose in the tumor cells is the use of high-atomic number nanoparticles as radiosensitizer agents in these cells. The aim of this in vitro study was investigating the radiosensitization enhancement potential of the dextran-coated iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) on HeLa and MCF-7 cell lines in irradiations with high-energy electron beams. Materials and Methods: In this in vitro study, the cytotoxicity level of dextran-coated IONPs at different concentrations (10, 40, and 80 μg/ml) was assessed on HeLa and MCF-7 cell lines. To evaluate the radiosensitivity effect, the nanoparticles were incubated with the cells at different concentrations for 24 h and afterward irradiated with different doses (0, 2, 4, 6, and 8 Gy) of 6 and 12 MeV electron beams. The cells survival fractions were obtained by the methylthiazoletetrazolium assay. Results: Toxicity results of the nanoparticles at 10 and 40 μg/ml concentrations showed no significant cytotoxicity effect. The cells survival rates in groups receiving radiation in the absence and presence of IONPs showed a significant difference. The radiosensitivity enhancement induced by the nanoparticles in MCF-7 cell line was more than it in HeLa cell line. The average of radiosensitization enhancement factor at 10, 40, and 80 μg/ml concentrations and under 6 MeV irradiations obtained as 1.13, 1.19, 1.25, and 1.26, 1.28, 1.29 for HeLa, and MCF-7 cells, respectively. When 12 MeV electron beams were carried out, the values of 1.17, 1.26, 1.32, and 1.29, 1.32, 1.35 were obtained for the cells at the mentioned concentrations, respectively. Furthermore, the significant differences were observed in radiosensitization enhancement between 6 and 12 MeV electron beams irradiations. Conclusion: Use of dextran-coated IONPs can increase radiosensitivity and consequently at a given absorbed dose more cell killing will occur in cancerous cells. In other words, these nanoparticles can improve the efficiency of electron therapy.

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