Aim: CaCO3 nanoparticles (nano-CaCO3) can neutralize the acidic pHe of solid tumors, but the lack of intrinsic imaging signal precludes noninvasive monitoring of pH-perturbation in tumor microenvironment. We aim to develop a theranostic version of nano-CaCO3 to noninvasively monitor pH modulation and subsequent tumor response. Materials & methods: We synthesized ferromagnetic core coated with CaCO3 (magnetite CaCO3). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to determine the biodistribution and pH modulation using murine fibrosarcoma and breast cancer models. Results: Magnetite CaCO3-MRI imaging showed that nano-CaCO3 rapidly raised tumor pHe, followed by excessive tumor-associated acid production after its clearance. Continuous nano-CaCO3 infusion could inhibit metastasis. Conclusion: Nano-CaCO3 exposure induces tumor metabolic reprogramming that could account for the failure of previous intermittent pH-modulation strategies to achieve sustainable therapeutic effect.
- pH modulation