Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 2352–2361 | Cite as

Application of Fenton, photo-Fenton, solar photo-Fenton, and UV/H2O2 to degradation of the antineoplastic agent mitoxantrone and toxicological evaluation

  • Rodrigo Pereira Cavalcante
  • Lucas da Rocha Sandim
  • Danielle Bogo
  • Antônio Marcos Jacques Barbosa
  • Marly Eiko OsugiEmail author
  • Matildes Blanco
  • Silvio Cesar de Oliveira
  • Maria de Fatima Cepa Matos
  • Amilcar MachulekJr
  • Valdir Souza Ferreira
Research Article


In the present study, selected advanced oxidation processes (AOPs)—namely, photo-Fenton (with Fe2+, Fe3+, and potassium ferrioxalate—FeOx—as iron sources), solar photo-Fenton, Fenton, and UV/H2O2—were investigated for degradation of the antineoplastic drug mitoxantrone (MTX), frequently used to treat metastatic breast cancer, skin cancer, and acute leukemia. The results showed that photo-Fenton processes employing Fe(III) and FeOx and the UV/H2O2 process were most efficient for mineralizing MTX, with 77, 82, and 90 % of total organic carbon removal, respectively. MTX probably forms a complex with Fe(III), as demonstrated by voltammetric and spectrophotometric measurements. Spectrophotometric titrations suggested that the complex has a 2:1 Fe3+:MTX stoichiometric ratio and a complexation constant (K) of 1.47 × 104 M–1, indicating high MTX affinity for Fe3+. Complexation partially inhibits the involvement of iron ions and hence the degradation of MTX during photo-Fenton. The UV/H2O2 process is usually slower than the photo-Fenton process, but, in this study, the UV/H2O2 process proved to be more efficient due to complexing of MTX with Fe(III). The drug exhibited no cytotoxicity against NIH/3T3 mouse embryonic fibroblast cells when oxidized by UV/H2O2 or by UV/H2O2/FeOx at the concentrations tested.


AOPs Waste treatment Iron–mitoxantrone complex Spectroscopic methods Voltammetry NIH/3T3 cell line 



The authors wish to thank the Brazilian funding agencies CNPq, CAPES, and FUNDECT for their financial support. A.M. Jr. is associated with NAP-PhotoTech, the USP Research Consortium for Photochemical Technology, and INCT-EMA. The authors also wish to thank the Hospital Regional, in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul (Brazil), for the generous donation of mitoxantrone.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rodrigo Pereira Cavalcante
    • 1
  • Lucas da Rocha Sandim
    • 1
  • Danielle Bogo
    • 2
  • Antônio Marcos Jacques Barbosa
    • 1
    • 3
  • Marly Eiko Osugi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Matildes Blanco
    • 4
  • Silvio Cesar de Oliveira
    • 1
  • Maria de Fatima Cepa Matos
    • 2
  • Amilcar MachulekJr
    • 1
  • Valdir Souza Ferreira
    • 1
  1. 1.Centro de Ciências Exatas e Tecnologia (CCET)Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do SulCampo GrandeBrazil
  2. 2.Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS)Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do SulCampo GrandeBrazil
  3. 3.Laboratório Central de Saúde Pública do Estado de Mato Grosso do Sul (LACEN-MS)Campo GrandeBrazil
  4. 4.Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do SulChapadão do SulBrazil

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