Background and methods
Paclitaxel, a widely used antitumor agent, has limited clinical application due to its hydrophobicity and systemic toxicity. To achieve sustained and targeted delivery of paclitaxel to tumor sites, liposomes composed of egg phosphatidylcholine, cholesterol, and distearolyphosphatidyl ethanolamine-N-poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG2000) were prepared by a lipid film method. In addition, the liposomes also contained truncated fibroblast growth factor fragment-PEG-cholesterol as a ligand targeting the tumor marker fibroblast growth factor receptor. Physicochemical characteristics, such as particle size, zeta potential, entrapment efficiency, and release profiles were investigated. Pharmacokinetics and biodistribution were evaluated in C57BL/6 J mice bearing B16 melanoma after intravenous injection of paclitaxel formulated in Cremophor EL (free paclitaxel), conventional liposomes (CL-PTX), or in targeted PEGylated liposomes (TL-PTX).
Compared with CL-PTX and free paclitaxel, TL-PTX prolonged the half-life of paclitaxel by 2.01-fold and 3.40-fold, respectively, in plasma and improved the AUC0→t values of paclitaxel by 1.56-fold and 2.31-fold, respectively, in blood. Biodistribution studies showed high accumulation of TL-PTX in tumor tissue and organs containing the mononuclear phagocyte system (liver and spleen), but a considerable decrease in other organs (heart, lung, and kidney) compared with CL-PTX and free paclitaxel.
The truncated fibroblast growth factor fragment-conjugated PEGylated liposome has promising potential as a long-circulating and tumor-targeting carrier system.
paclitaxel; truncated fibroblast growth factor fragment; poly(ethylene glycol); liposomes; targeted drug delivery
Paclitaxel is a diterpenoid isolated from Taxus brevifolia. It is effective for various cancers, especially ovarian and breast cancer. Due to its aqueous insolubility, it is administered dissolved in ethanol and Cremophor® EL (BASF, Ludwigshafen, Germany), which can cause serious allergic reactions. In order to eliminate Cremophor EL, paclitaxel was formulated as a nanosuspension by high-pressure homogenization. The nanosuspension was lyophilized to obtain the dry paclitaxel nanoparticles (average size, 214.4 ± 15.03 nm), which enhanced both the physical and chemical stability of paclitaxel nanoparticles. Paclitaxel dissolution was also enhanced by the nanosuspension. Differential scanning calorimetry showed that the crystallinity of paclitaxel was preserved during the high-pressure homogenization process. The pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution of paclitaxel were compared after intravenous administration of paclitaxel nanosuspension and paclitaxel injection. In rat plasma, paclitaxel nanosuspension exhibited a significantly (P < 0.01) reduced area under the concentration curve (AUC)0–∞ (20.343 ± 9.119 μg · h · mL−1 vs 5.196 ± 1.426 μg · h · mL−1), greater clearance (2.050 ± 0.616 L · kg−1 · h−1 vs 0.556 ± 0.190 L · kg−1 · h−1), and shorter elimination half-life (5.646 ± 2.941 vs 3.774 ± 1.352 hours) compared with the paclitaxel solution. In contrast, the paclitaxel nanosuspension resulted in a significantly greater AUC0–∞ in liver, lung, and spleen (all P < 0.01), but not in heart or kidney.
high-pressure homogenization; tissue distribution; surfactant
Despite its strong antitumor activity, paclitaxel (Taxol®) has limited clinical applications due to its low aqueous solubility and hypersensitivity caused by cremophor EL and ethanol which is the vehicle used in the current commercial product. In an attempt to develop a pharmaceutically acceptable formulation that could replace Taxol®, we have prepared PEGylated liposomes containing paclitaxel to improve its solubility and physicochemical stability. Its percent drug entrapment (PDE), mean particle size, zeta potential and in vitro release profile were determined. The optimized PEGylated liposomes provided high percent entrapment efficiency (64.29%) and mean particle size of 228.6 nm. The electroflocculation method showed 5 mol% of DSPE-mPEG2000 was required to obtain maximum stability for PEGylated liposome. In vitro release data showed its long circulating characteristic. Paclitaxel loaded PEGylated liposomes can be considered a promising long circulating paclitaxel delivery with absence of side effects related to Taxol®.
Antitumor activity; electroflocculation; in vitro release; thin film hydration
Paclitaxel is an antineoplastic agent derived from the bark of the western yew, Taxus brevifolia, with a broad spectrum of activity. Because paclitaxel promotes microtubule assembly, neurotoxicity is one of its side effects. Clinical use of paclitaxel has led to peripheral neuropathy and this has been demonstrated to be dependent upon the dose administered, the duration of the infusion, and the schedule of administration. Vehicles in the drug formulation, for example Cremophor in Taxol®, have been investigated for their potential to induce peripheral neuropathy. A variety of neuroprotective agents have been tested in animal and clinical studies to prevent paclitaxel neurotoxicity. Recently, novel paclitaxel formulations have been developed to minimize toxicities. This review focuses on recent advances in the etiology of paclitaxel-mediated peripheral neurotoxicity, and discusses current and ongoing strategies for amelioration of this side effect.
Taxol; cremophor; ABI-007; peripheral neuropathy
A liposome formulation for paclitaxel was developed in this study. The liposomes, composed of naturally unsaturated and hydrogenated phosphatidylcholines, with significant phase transition temperature difference, were prepared and characterized. The liposomes exhibited a high content of paclitaxel, which was incorporated within the segregated microdomains coexisting on phospholipid bilayer of liposomes. As much as 15% paclitaxel to phospholipid molar ratio were attained without precipitates observed during preparation. In addition, the liposomes remained stable in liquid form at 4°C for at least 6 months. The special composition of liposomal membrane which could reduce paclitaxel aggregation could account for such a capacity and stability. The cytotoxicity of prepared paclitaxel liposomes on the colon cancer C-26 cell culture was comparable to Taxol. Acute toxicity test revealed that LD50 for intravenous bolus injection in mice exceeded by 40 mg/kg. In antitumor efficacy study, the prepared liposomal paclitaxel demonstrated the increase in the efficacy against human cancer in animal model. Taken together, the novel formulated liposomes can incorporate high content of paclitaxel, remaining stable for long-term storage. These animal data also demonstrate that the liposomal paclitaxel is promising for further clinical use.
Paclitaxel is an anticancer agent effective for the treatment of breast, ovarian, lung, and head and neck cancer. Because of water insolubility, paclitaxel is formulated with the micelle-forming vehicle Cremophor EL to enhance drug solubility. However, the addition of Cremophor EL results in hypersensitivity reactions, neurotoxicity, and altered pharmacokinetics of paclitaxel. To circumvent these unfavorable effects resulting from the addition of Cremophor EL, efforts have been made to develop new delivery systems for paclitaxel administration. For example, ABI-007 is a Cremophor-free, albumin-stabilized, nanoparticle paclitaxel formulation that was found to have significantly less toxicity than Cremophor-containing paclitaxel in mice. Pharmacokinetic studies indicate that in contrast to Cremophor-containing paclitaxel, ABI-007 displays linear pharmacokinetics over the clinically relevant dose range of 135–300 mg/m2. In a phase III study conducted in patients with metastatic breast cancer, patients treated with ABI-007 achieved a significantly higher objective response rate and time to progression than those treated with Cremophor-containing paclitaxel. Together these findings suggest that nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel may enable clinicians to administer paclitaxel at higher doses with less toxicity than is seen with Cremophor-containing paclitaxel. The role of this novel paclitaxel formulation in combination therapy with other antineoplastic agents needs to be determined.
paclitaxel; nanoparticle; albumin-bound paclitaxel; pharmacokinetics
A multifunctional telodendrimer-based micelle system was characterized for delivery of imaging and chemotherapy agents to mouse tumor xenografts. Previous optical imaging studies demonstrated qualitatively that these classes of nanoparticles, called nanomicelles, preferentially accumulate at tumor sites in mice. The research reported herein describes the detailed quantitative imaging and biodistribution profiling of nanomicelles loaded with a cargo of paclitaxel.
The telodendrimer was covalently labeled with 125I and the nanomicelles were loaded with 14C-paclitaxel, which allowed measurement of pharmacokinetics and biodistribution in the mice using microSPECT/CT imaging and liquid scintillation counting, respectively.
The radio imaging data showed preferential accumulation of nanomicelles at the tumor site along with a slower clearance rate than paclitaxel formulated in Cremophor EL (Taxol®). Liquid scintillation counting confirmed that 14C-labeled paclitaxel sequestered in nanomicelles had increased uptake by tumor tissue and slower pharmacokinetics than Taxol.
Overall, the results indicate that nanomicelle-formulated paclitaxel is a potentially superior formulation compared with Taxol in terms of water solubility, pharmacokinetics, and tumor accumulation, and may be clinically useful for both tumor imaging and improved chemotherapy applications.
telodendrimer; nanomicelle; paclitaxel; microSPECT/CT; imaging guided drug delivery
Abraxane (ABI-007) is a 130 nm albumin-bound (nab™) particle formulation of paclitaxel, devoid of any additional excipients. We hypothesized that this change in formulation alters the systemic disposition of paclitaxel compared with conventional solvent-based formulations (sb-paclitaxel, Taxol®), and leads to improved tolerability of the drug.
Patients and Methods:
Patients with malignant solid tumors were randomized to receive the recommended single agent dose of nab-paclitaxel (260 mg/m2 as a 30 minute infusion) or sb-paclitaxel (175 mg/m2 as a 3 hour infusion). Following cycle 1, patients crossed over to the alternate treatment. Pharmacokinetic studies were carried out for the first cycle of sb-paclitaxel and the first two cycles of nab-paclitaxel.
Seventeen patients were treated, with 14 receiving at least one cycle each of nab-paclitaxel and sb-paclitaxel. No change in nab-paclitaxel pharmacokinetics was found between the first and second cycles (P =0.95), suggesting limited intrasubject variability. Total drug exposure was comparable between the two formulations (P= 0.55) despite the dose difference. However, exposure to unbound paclitaxel was significantly higher following nab-paclitaxel administration, due to the increased free fraction (0.063 ± 0.021 vs 0.024 ± 0.009, P <0.001).
This study demonstrates that paclitaxel disposition is subject to considerable variability depending on the formulation used. Since systemic exposure to unbound paclitaxel is likely a driving force behind tumoral uptake, these findings explain, at least in part, previous observations that the administration of nab-paclitaxel is associated with augmented antitumor efficacy as compared with solvent-based paclitaxel.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of the co-solvents Cremophor EL and polysorbate 80 on the absorption of orally administered paclitaxel. 6 patients received in a randomized setting, one week apart oral paclitaxel 60 mg m−2 dissolved in polysorbate 80 or Cremophor EL. For 3 patients the amount of Cremophor EL was 5 ml m−2, for the other three 15 ml m−2. Prior to paclitaxel administration patients received 15 mg kg−1 oral cyclosporin A to enhance the oral absorption of the drug. Paclitaxel formulated in polysorbate 80 resulted in a significant increase in the maximal concentration (C max) and area under the concentration–time curve (AUC) of paclitaxel in comparison with the Cremophor EL formulations (P = 0.046 for both parameters). When formulated in Cremophor EL 15 ml m−2, paclitaxel C max and AUC values were 0.10 ± 0.06 μM and 1.29 ± 0.99 μM h−1, respectively, whereas these values were 0.31 ± 0.06 μM and 2.61 ± 1.54 μM h−1, respectively, when formulated in polysorbate 80. Faecal data revealed a decrease in excretion of unchanged paclitaxel for the polysorbate 80 formulation compared to the Cremophor EL formulations. The amount of paclitaxel excreted in faeces was significantly correlated with the amount of Cremophor EL excreted in faeces (P = 0.019). When formulated in Cremophor EL 15 ml m−2, paclitaxel excretion in faeces was 38.8 ± 13.0% of the administered dose, whereas this value was 18.3 ±15.5% for the polysorbate 80 formulation. The results show that the co-solvent Cremophor EL is an important factor limiting the absorption of orally administered paclitaxel from the intestinal lumen. They highlight the need for designing a better drug formulation in order to increase the usefulness of the oral route of paclitaxel © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign http://www.bjcancer.com
paclitaxel; oral administration; Cremophor EL
Taxanes are highly active chemotherapeutic agents in the treatment of early-stage and metastatic breast cancer. Novel formulations have been developed to improve efficacy and decrease toxicity associated with these cytotoxic agents. nab-paclitaxel is a solvent free, albumin-bound 130-nanometer particle formulation of paclitaxel (Abraxane®, Abraxis Bioscience), which was developed to avoid toxicities of the Cremophor vehicle used in solvent-based paclitaxel. In a phase III clinical trial, nab-paclitaxel demonstrated higher response rates, better safety and side-effect profile compared to conventional paclitaxel, and improved survival in patients receiving it as second line therapy. Higher doses can be administered over a shorter infusion time without the need for special infusion sets or pre-medications. It is now approved in the US for treatment of breast cancer after failure of combination chemotherapy for metastatic disease or relapse within 6 months of adjuvant therapy, where prior therapy included an anthracycline. Recently, several phase II studies have suggested a role for nab-paclitaxel as a single agent and in combination with other agents for first-line treatment of metastatic breast cancer.
nab-paclitaxel; nab-technology; paclitaxel; metastatic breast cancer; taxanes
The clinical formulation of the anti-tumour agent Taxol involves the use of a mixture of ethanol and Cremophor EL. Gel electrophoresis and density-gradient ultracentrifugation were used to detect effects of Taxol infusions on serum lipoproteins. Use of the Cremophor vehicle results in a decrease in the electrophoretic mobility of serum lipoproteins along with the appearance of a lipoprotein dissociation product. These effects persist during a 24 h infusion and for at least 1.5 h afterwards, and can be reproduced in vitro using purified high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or low-density lipoprotein (LDL). In control serum, Taxol binds to albumin > HDL, but after serum is exposed to Cremophor EL in vitro or in vivo substantial binding of Taxol to the lipoprotein dissociation product(s) was observed. The latter could represent an important factor in taxol biodistribution.
Breast cancer is the most common type of malignancy diagnosed in women. In the metastatic setting this disease is still uncurable. Taxanes represent an important class of antitumor agents which have proven to be fundamental in the treatment of advanced and early-stage breast cancer, but the clinical advances of taxanes have been limited by their highly hydrophobic molecular status. To overcome this poor water solubility, lipid-based solvents have been used as a vehicle, and new systemic formulations have been developed, mostly for paclitaxel, which are Cremophor-free and increase the circulation time of the drug. ABI-007 is a novel, albumin-bound, 130-nm particle formulation of paclitaxel, free from any kind of solvent. It has been demonstrated to be superior to an equitoxic dose of standard paclitaxel with a significantly lower incidence of toxicities in a large, international, randomized phase III trial. The availability of new drugs, such as Abraxane®, in association with other traditional and non-traditional drugs (new antineoplastic agents and targeted molecules), will give the oncologist many different effective treatment options for patients in this setting.
paclitaxel; Abraxane; breast cancer; nanotechnology
Nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel (nab-paclitaxel) is a novel formulation of paclitaxel that does not require solvents such as polyoxyethylated castor oil and ethanol. Use of these solvents has been associated with toxic response, including hypersensitivity reactions and prolonged sensory neuropathy, as well as a negative impact in relation to the therapeutic index of paclitaxel. nab-paclitaxel displays greater antitumor activity and less toxicity than solvent-base paclitaxel. In a phase I trial of single nab-paclitaxel, the maximum tolerated dose was 300 mg/m2 with the dose limiting toxicities being sensory neuropathy, stomatitis, and superficial keratopathy. In the metastatic setting, a pivotal comparative randomized phase III study demonstrated that nab-paclitaxel (at 260 mg/m2 over 30 minutes infusion without premedication every 3 weeks) mediated a superior objective response rate and prolonged time to progression compared with solvent-based paclitaxel (at 175 mg/m2 over a 3-hour injection with standard premedication). The nab-paclitaxel-treated group showed a higher incidence of sensory neuropathy than the solvent-based paclitaxel group. However, these adverse side effects rapidly resolved after interruption of treatment and dose reduction. Weekly administration of nabpaclitaxel was also more active and displayed less toxicity compared with 100 mg/m2 docetaxel given triweekly. Nab-paclitaxel has already been approved in 42 countries for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer previously treated with anthracycline, based on confirmation of the efficacy and manageable toxicity in the metastatic setting. This review summarizes the most relevant knowledge on nab-paclitaxel for treating breast cancer in terms of clinical usefulness including efficacy and safety of this new agent.
nab-paclitaxel; breast cancer; toxicity profile
To explore the parmacokinetics, safety and tolerability of paclitaxel after oral administration of SMEOF#3, a novel Self-Microemulsifying Oily Formulation, in combination with cyclosporin A (CsA) in patients with advanced cancer. Seven patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to receive oral paclitaxel (SMEOF#3) 160 mg+CsA 700 mg on day 1, followed by oral paclitaxel (Taxol®) 160 mg+CsA 700 mg on day 8 (group I) or vice versa (group II). Patients received paclitaxel (Taxol®) 160 mg as 3-h infusion on day 15. The median (range) area under the plasma concentration–time curve of paclitaxel was 2.06 (1.15–3.47) μg h ml−1 and 1.97 (0.58–3.22) μg h ml−1 after oral administration of SMEOF#3 and Taxol®, respectively, and 4.69 (3.90–6.09) μg h ml−1 after intravenous Taxol®. Oral SMEOF#3 resulted in a lower median Tmax of 2.0 (0.5–2.0) h than orally applied Taxol® (Tmax=4.0 (0.8–6.1) h, P=0.02). The median apparent bioavailability of paclitaxel was 40 (19–83)% and 55 (9–70)% for the oral SMEOF#3 and oral Taxol® formulation, respectively. Oral paclitaxel administered as SMEOF#3 or Taxol® was safe and well tolerated by the patients. Remarkably, the SMEOF#3 formulation resulted in a significantly lower Tmax than orally applied Taxol®, probably due to the excipients in the SMEOF#3 formulation resulting in a higher absorption rate of paclitaxel.
paclitaxel; cremophor-free; formulation; pharmacokinetics; safety
Paclitaxel (Taxol), an anti-cancer drug derived from Taxus species, was tested for its anti-migrational, anti-invasive and anti-proliferative effect on two human glioma cell lines (GaMg and D-54Mg) grown as multicellular tumour spheroids. In addition, the direct effect of paclitaxel on glioma cells was studied using flow cytometry and scanning confocal microscopy. Both cell lines showed a dose-dependent growth and migratory response to paclitaxel. The GaMg cells were found to be 5-10 times more sensitive to paclitaxel than D-54Mg cells. Paclitaxel also proved to be remarkably effective in preventing invasion in a co-culture system in which tumour spheroids were confronted with fetal rat brain cell aggregates. Control experiments with Cremophor EL (the solvent of paclitaxel for clinical use) in this study showed no effect on tumour cell migration, cell proliferation or cell invasion. Scanning confocal microscopy of both cell lines showed an extensive random organization of the microtubules in the cytoplasm. After paclitaxel exposure, the GaMg and the D-54Mg cells exhibited a fragmentation of the nuclear material, indicating a possible induction of apoptosis. In line with this, flow cytometric DNA histograms showed an accumulation of cells in the G2/M phase of the cell cycle after 24 h of paclitaxel exposure. After 48 h, a deterioration of the DNA histograms was observed indicating nuclear fragmentation.
Activation of cannabinoid CB2 receptors suppresses neuropathic pain induced by traumatic nerve injury. The present studies were conducted to evaluate the efficacy of cannabinoid CB2 receptor activation in suppressing painful peripheral neuropathy evoked by chemotherapeutic treatment with the anti-tumor agent paclitaxel. Rats received paclitaxel (2 mg/kg i.p. per day) on four alternate days to induce mechanical hypersensitivity (mechanical allodynia). Mechanical allodynia was defined as a lowering of the threshold for paw withdrawal to stimulation of the plantar hind paw surface with an electronic von Frey stimulator. Mechanical allodynia developed in paclitaxel-treated animals relative to groups receiving the cremophor: ethanol: saline vehicle at the same times. Two structurally distinct cannabinoid CB2 agonists—the aminoalkylindole (R,S)-AM1241 ((R,S)-(2-iodo-5-nitrophenyl)-[1-((1-methyl-piperidin-2-yl)methyl)-1H-indol-3-yl]-methanone) and the cannabilactone AM1714 (1,9-dihydroxy-3-(1′,1′-dimethylheptyl)-6H-benzo[c]chromene-6-one)—produced a dose-related suppression of established paclitaxel-evoked mechanical allodynia following systemic administration. Pretreatment with the CB2 antagonist SR144528 (5-(4-chloro-3-methylphenyl)-1-(4-methylbenzyl)-N-(1,3,3-trimethylbicyclo[2.2.1]heptan-2-yl)-1H-pyrazole-3-carboxamide), but not the CB1 antagonist SR141716 (5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-N-(piperidin-1-yl)-1H-pyrazole-3-carboxamide), blocked the anti-allodynic effects of both (R,S)-AM1241 and AM1714. Moreover, (R)-AM1241, but not (S)-AM1241, suppressed paclitaxel-evoked mechanical allodynia relative to either vehicle treatment or pre-injection thresholds, consistent with mediation by CB2. Administration of either the CB1 or CB2 antagonist alone failed to alter paclitaxel-evoked mechanical allodynia. Moreover, (R,S)-AM1241 did not alter paw withdrawal thresholds in rats that received the cremophor vehicle in lieu of paclitaxel whereas AM1714 induced a modest antinociceptive effect. Our data suggest that cannabinoid CB2 receptors may be important therapeutic targets for the treatment of chemotherapy-evoked neuropathy.
The commercial drug paclitaxel (Taxol) may introduce hypersensitivity reactions associated with the polyethoxylated castor oil-ethanol solvent. To overcome these problems, we developed a polyethoxylated castor oil-free, liposome-based alternative paclitaxel formulation, known as Lipusu. In this study, we performed in vitro and in vivo experiments to compare the safety profiles of Lipusu and Taxol, with special regard to hypersensitivity reactions. First, Swiss mice were used to determine the lethal dosages, and then to evaluate hypersensitivity reactions, followed by histopathological examination and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) of serum SC5b-9 and lung histamine. Additionally, healthy human serum was used to analyze in vitro complement activation. Finally, an MTT assay was used to determine the in vitro anti-proliferation activity. Our data clearly showed that Lipusu displayed a much higher safety margin and did not induce hypersensitivity or hypersensitivity-related lung lesions, which may be associated with the fact that Lipusu did not activate complement or increase histamine release in vivo. Moreover, Lipusu did not promote complement activation in healthy human serum in vitro, and demonstrated anti-proliferative activity against human cancer cells, similar to that of Taxol. Therefore, the improved formulation of paclitaxel, which exhibited a much better safety profile and comparable cytotoxic activity to Taxol, may bring a number of benefits to cancer patients.
liposome; Lipusu; Taxol; complement activation; hypersensitivity reaction
The rationale for intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy is to expose peritoneal tumors to high drug concentrations. While multiple phase III trials have established the significant survival advantage by adding IP therapy to intravenous therapy in optimally debulked ovarian cancer patients, the use of IP chemotherapy is limited by the complications associated with indwelling catheters and by the local chemotherapy-related toxicity. The present study evaluated the effects of drug carrier on the disposition and efficacy of IP paclitaxel, for identifying strategies for further development of IP treatment.
Three paclitaxel formulations, i.e., Cremophor formulation, Cremophor-free paclitaxel-loaded gelatin nanoparticles and polymeric microparticles, were evaluated for peritoneal targeting advantage and antitumor activity in mice. Whole body autoradiography and scanning electron microscopy were used to visualize the spatial drug distribution in tissues. A kinetic model, depicting the multiple processes involved in the peritoneal-to-plasma transfer of paclitaxel and its carriers, was established to determine the mechanisms by which drug carrier alters the peritoneal targeting advantage.
Autoradiographic results indicated that IP injection yielded much higher paclitaxel concentrations in intestinal tissues compared to intravenous injection. Compared to the Cremophor and nanoparticle formulations, the microparticles showed slower drug clearance from the peritoneal cavity, slower absorption into the systemic circulation, longer residence time in the peritoneal cavity, 5- to 22-times greater peritoneal targeting advantage and ∼2-times longer increase in survival time (p<0.01 for all parameters).
Our results indicate the important roles of drug carrier in determining the peritoneal targeting advantage and antitumor activity of IP treatment.
paclitaxel; intraperitoneal therapy; carrier; microparticles
The effect of the paclitaxel vehicle Cremophor on the pharmacokinetics of doxorubicin and doxorubicinol was studied in two groups of mice given intravenously either 2.5 ml kg-1 Cremophor or saline followed 5 min later by 10 mg kg-1 doxorubicin. In each group three mice were sacrificed at ten time points and doxorubicin and doxorubicinol were measured in plasma by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). With Cremophor present, doxorubicin AUC increased from 1420+/-440 to 2770+/-660 ng h ml(-1) (P<0.05) and doxorubicinol AUC increased from 130+/-76 to 320+/-88 ng h ml(-1) (p<0.05). Neither the terminal elimination half-lives nor the doxorubicinol-doxorubicin AUC ratio changed in the presence of Cremophor, suggesting a lack of a direct effect on drug metabolism. The possibility exists the Cremophor may change the pharmacokinetics of both paclitaxel and other drugs given concurrently.
In patient tumour samples the activity in vitro of Taxol corresponded fairly well to the known clinical activity and Taxol showed low cross-resistance to standard cytotoxic drugs. However, the Taxol solvent Cremophor EL--ethanol was considerably active alone, whereas paclitaxel formulated in ethanol was less active. Taxol thus seems to contain two components active against patient tumour cells in vitro.
Paclitaxel chemotherapy frequently induces neuropathic pain during and often persisting after therapy. The mechanisms responsible for this pain are unknown. Using a rat model of paclitaxel-induced painful peripheral neuropathy, we have performed studies to search for peripheral nerve pathology. Paclitaxel-induced mechano-allodynia and mechano-hyperalgesia were evident after a short delay, peaked at day 27 and finally resolved on day 155. Paclitaxel- and vehicle-treated rats were perfused on days 7, 27 and 160. Portions of saphenous nerves were processed for electron microscopy. There was no evidence of paclitaxel-induced degeneration or regeneration as myelin structure was normal and the number/density of myelinated axons and C-fibres was unaltered by paclitaxel treatment at any time point. In addition, the prevalence of ATF3-positive dorsal root ganglia cells was normal in paclitaxel-treated animals. With one exception, at day 160 in myelinated axons, total microtubule densities were also unaffected by paclitaxel both in C-fibres and myelinated axons. C-fibres were significantly swollen following paclitaxel at days 7 and 27 compared to vehicle. The most striking finding was significant increases in the prevalence of atypical (swollen and vacuolated) mitochondria in both C-fibres (1.6- to 2.3-fold) and myelinated axons (2.4- to 2.6-fold) of paclitaxel-treated nerves at days 7 and 27. Comparable to the pain behaviour, these mitochondrial changes had resolved by day 160. Our data do not support a causal role for axonal degeneration or dysfunction of axonal microtubules in paclitaxel-induced pain. Instead, our data suggest that a paclitaxel-induced abnormality in axonal mitochondria of sensory nerves contributes to paclitaxel-induced pain.
Chemotherapy; Pain; Cancer; Microtubule; Degeneration; Allodynia; Hyperalgesia
To develop an in situ gel system comprising liposome-containing paclitaxel (PTX) dispersed within the thermoreversible gel (Pluronic® F127 gel) for controlled release and improved antitumor drug efficiency.
The dialysis membrane and membrane-less diffusion method were used to investigate the in vitro drug release behavior. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) thermal analysis was used to investigate the “micellization” and “sol/gel transition” process of in situ gel systems. In vitro cytotoxicity and drug uptake in KB cancer cells were determined by MTT, intercellular drug concentration, and fluorescence intensity assay.
The in vitro release experiment performed with a dialysis membrane model showed that the liposomal gel exhibited the longest drug-release period compared with liposome, general gel, and commercial formulation Taxol®. This effect is presumably due to the increased viscosity of liposomal gel, which has the effect of creating a drug reservoir. Both drug and gel release from the in situ gel system operated under zero-order kinetics and showed a correlation of release of PTX with gel, indicating a predominating release mechanism of the erosion type. Dispersing liposomes into the gel replaced larger gel itself for achieving the same gel dissolution rate. Both the critical micelle temperature and the sol/gel temperature, detected by DSC thermal analysis, were shifted to lower temperatures by adding liposomes. The extent of the shifts depended on the amount of embedded liposomes. MTT assay and drug uptake studies showed that the treatment with PTX-loaded liposomal 18% Pluronic F127 yielded cytotoxicities, intercellular fluorescence intensity, and drug concentration in KB cells much higher than that of conventional liposome, while blank liposomal 18% Pluronic F127 gel was far less than the Cremophor EL® vehicle and empty liposomes.
A thermosensitive hydrogel with embedded liposome is a promising carrier for hydrophobic anticancer agents, to be used in parenteral formulations for treating local cancers.
controlled release; cytotoxicity evaluation; drug uptake
The purpose of this study was to prepare a novel paclitaxel (PTX) microemulsion containing a reduced amount of Cremophor EL (CrEL) which had similar pharmacokinetics and antitumor efficacy as the commercially available PTX injection, but a significantly reduced allergic effect due to the CrEL. The pharmacokinetics, biodistribution, in vivo antitumor activity and safety of PTX microemulsion was evaluated. The results of pharmacokinetic and distribution properties of PTX in the microemulsion were similar to those of the PTX injection. The antitumor efficacy of the PTX microemulsion in OVCRA-3 and A 549 tumor-bearing animals was similar to that of PTX injection. The PTX microemulsion did not cause haemolysis, erythrocyte agglutination or simulative reaction. The incidence and degree of allergic reactions exhibited by the PTX microemulsion group, with or without premedication, were significantly lower than those in the PTX injection group (P < .01). In conclusion, the PTX microemulsion had similar pharmacokinetics and anti-tumor efficacy to the PTX injection, but a significantly reduced allergic effect due to CrEL, indicating that the PTX microemulsion overcomes the disadvantages of the conventional PTX injection and is one way of avoiding the limitations of current injection product while providing suitable therapeutic efficacy.
Taxanes are chemotherapeutic agents with a large spectrum of antitumor activity when used as monotherapy or in combination regimens. Paclitaxel and docetaxel have poor solubility and require a complex solvent system for their commercial formulation, Cremophor EL® (CrEL) and Tween 80® respectively. Both these biological surfactants have recently been implicated as contributing not only to the hypersensitivity reactions, but also to the degree of peripheral neurotoxicity and myelosuppression, and may antagonize the cytotoxicity. Nab-paclitaxel, or nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel (ABI-007; Abraxane®), is a novel formulation of paclitaxel that does not employ the CrEL solvent system. Nab-paclitaxel demonstrates greater efficacy and a favorable safety profile compared with standard paclitaxel in patients with advanced disease (breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, melanoma, ovarian cancer). Clinical studies in breast cancer have shown that nab-paclitaxel is significantly more effective than standard paclitaxel in terms of overall objective response rate (ORR) and time to progression. Nab-paclitaxel in combination with gemcitabine, capecitabine or bevacizumab has been shown to be very active in patients with advanced breast cancer. An economic analysis showed that nab-paclitaxel would be an economically reasonable alternative to docetaxel or standard paclitaxel in metastatic breast cancer. Favorable tumor ORR and manageable toxicities have been reported for nab-paclitaxel as monotherapy or in combination treatment in advanced breast cancer.
breast cancer; nab-paclitaxel; chemotherapy
Brucine was encapsulated into stealth liposomes using the ammonium sulfate gradient method to improve therapeutic index.
Materials and methods:
Four brucine stealth liposomal formulations were prepared, which were made from different phosphatidylcholines (PCs) with different phase transition temperatures (Tm). The PCs used were soy phosphatidylcholine (SPC), dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine (DPPC), hydrogenated soy phosphatidylcholine (HSPC), and distearoyl phosphatidylcholine (DSPC). The stabilities, pharmacokinetics, and toxicities of these liposomal formulations were evaluated and compared.
Size, zeta potential, and entrapment efficiency of brucine-loaded stealth liposomes (BSL) were not influenced by PC composition. In vitro release studies revealed that drug release rate increased with decreased Tm of PCs, especially with the presence of rat plasma. After intravenous administration, the area under the curve (AUC) values of BSL-SPC, BSL-DPPC, BSL-HSPC, and BSL-DSPC in plasma were 7.71, 9.24, 53.83, and 56.83-fold as large as that of free brucine, respectively. The LD50 values of brucine solution, BSL-SPC, BSL-DPPC, BSL-HSPC, and BSL-DSPC following intravenous injection were 13.17, 37.30, 37.69, 51.18, and 52.86 mg/kg, respectively. It was found in calcein retention experiments that the order of calcein retention in rat plasma was SPC < DPPC << HSPC < DSPC stealth liposomes.
PC composition could exert significant influence on the stabilities, pharmacokinetics, and toxicities of brucine-loaded stealth liposomes. DSPC or HSPC with Tm above 50°C should be used to prepare the stealth liposomal formulation for the intravenous delivery of brucine. However, it was found in the present paper that the pharmacokinetics and toxicity of BSL were not influenced by the PC composition when the Tm of the PC was in the range of −20°C to 41°C.
brucine; stealth liposomes; phosphatidylcholine; pharmacokinetics; toxicity