Hadasit Health Innovation
Creating synergies between academia, industry, and medicine

A novel approach to harness superparamagnetic nanoparticles for the treatment of difficult to treat cancers


In 2020 approximately 19.3 million new cancer cases and 10 million cancer-related deaths were diagnosed worldwide. Even though various treatment strategies have been developed, nonresectable tumors are still considered an unmet clinical need. The prognosis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is dismal, with a 5-year survival rate of 6% and a median of 6 months of survival. While surgery is the only curative option, only 10% of the patients are eligible for it. Even after surgery, the 5-year survival rate remains low at only 21%. PDAC is characterized by a rich microenvironment and a dense fibrotic stroma which prevents efficient drug delivery. Molecular-targeting therapies are also challenged by PDAC’s rich microenvironment. Several clinical trials using such therapies demonstrated low efficacy, which can be explained by this stromal barrier

Our Solution

Since systemic administration of various therapeutic agents was failed to accumulate in these type of tumors, a change of concept in the delivery of drugs is needed to enhance their concentration in cancerous tissue.

The proposition is to overcome the stromal barrier through patient-tailored magnetic field-mediated targeting. In this technique, drug-bound superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) will be targeted to the tumor mechanically by local injection into the tumor surroundings. These SPIONs will be actively dragged into the tumor by a static magnetic field (SMF), bypassing the hurdles of poor tumor vascularization and avoiding toxicity due to systemic circulation.  The novel concept of using drug-bound SPION is the next step towards true personalized medicine. The strength and direction of the SMF will be personalized per patient using CT/MRI scans showing tumor location and size. The SMF will be applied for several hours by a patient-tailored Magnetic Therapeutic Vest. This future concept will enhance the therapeutic effect on PDAC and hopefully offer pancreatic cancer patients a substantial treatment for their disease.



Personalized treatment for nonresectable solid tumors. 

Development Status

Pre-clinical studies, currently funded by the R.M.A accelerator.

Achievements: The study on colorectal cancer has demonstrated that locally injected SPION infiltrated the tumor much more efficiently while exposed to a magnetic field (left panel, SPION stained blue). Furthermore, local injection of drug bounded SPION (either 5FU and Bev) followed by a static magnetic field (SMF) significantly inhibited tumor growth in mice (right Panel, red).


Market Potential

According to Market Data Forcast, the size of the global pancreatic cancer therapeutics market was 2.59 billion USD in 2022 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 7.54% from 2022 to 2027. The market size is expected to grow to 3.73 billion USD in 2027.

The absence of diagnostics tools for early-stage diagnosis and the development of targeted therapy are among the various drivers of the pancreatic cancer therapeutics market.

The US Pancreatic cancer holds 3.2% of US new cases of all cancers, with 10.8% 5-year relative survival and 7.9% of all cancer deaths in the US. 1.7 % of humans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at some point during their lifetime.



A national phase application derived from PCT/IL2020/050225 was filed in the US, and received US Application No.17/460,235. The publication number is US 2022-0047702. This application is pending.

Co-Inventor outside of Hadassah Medical Center

Prof. Shlomo Margel (PhD), Department of Chemistry, Inst. Of Nanotechnology & Advanced Materials, Bar Ilan University


Jerusalem BioPark, Hadassah Ein Kerem POB 12000, Jerusalem 91120, Israel
Tel. +972-2-6778757 Fax. +972-2-6437712 Email. infohadasit@hadassah.org.il