Theranostics 2014; 4(11):1145-1152. doi:10.7150/thno.10006

Research Paper

Radiofrequency Heat-Enhanced Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer: Towards Interventional Molecular Image-Guided Chemotherapy

Yurong Zhou1, Guocan Han1, Yue Wang1, Xi Hu1, Zhiming Li1, Lumin Chen 1, Weixian Bai 1, Jingfeng Luo1, Yajing Zhang1, Jihong Sun1✉, Xiaoming Yang1,2 ✉

1. Department of Radiology, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China.
2. Image-Guided Bio-Molecular Intervention Research, Department of Radiology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington, USA.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
Zhou Y, Han G, Wang Y, Hu X, Li Z, Chen L, Bai W, Luo J, Zhang Y, Sun J, Yang X. Radiofrequency Heat-Enhanced Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer: Towards Interventional Molecular Image-Guided Chemotherapy. Theranostics 2014; 4(11):1145-1152. doi:10.7150/thno.10006. Available from

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Breast cancer is the most common malignancy in women worldwide. Recent developments in minimally invasive interventional radiology techniques have significantly improved breast cancer treatment. This study aimed to develop a novel technique for the local management of breast cancers using radiofrequency heat (RFH). We performed both in vitro experiments using human breast cancer cells and in vivo validation in xenograft animal models with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and pathological correlation to investigate the feasibility of our approach. Four treatment groups, including (1) no treatment (control), (2) RFH-only, (3) chemo (doxorubicin)-only, and (4) combination therapy with both doxorubicin and RFH, were conducted in each experiment. In vitro combination therapy significantly decreased breast cancer cell proliferation while increased their apoptosis index compared to the other three groups. MRI demonstrated a significant tumor size reduction in animals treated with combination therapy compared to those receiving other treatments in vivo. Such result was further confirmed by pathological examination. In conclusion, our findings suggests that RFH can enhance the therapeutic efficiency of doxorubicin on breast cancers, thus establishing the basis for future development of interventional molecular image-guided local chemotherapy for breast malignancies.

Keywords: breast cancer, radiofrequency, doxorubicin, MRI, hyperthermia.