Cancer remains the second leading cause of death after heart disease in the US. While metastasized cancers such as breast, prostate, and colon are incurable, before their distant spread, these diseases will have invaded the lymphatic system as a first step in their progression. Hence, proper evaluation of the disease state of the lymphatics which drain a tumor site is crucial to staging and the formation of a treatment plan. Current lymphatic imaging modalities with visible dyes and radionucleotide tracers offer limited sensitivity and poor resolution; however, newer tools using nanocarriers, quantum dots, and magnetic resonance imaging promise to vastly improve the staging of lymphatic spread without needless biopsies. Concurrent with the improvement of lymphatic imaging agents, has been the development of drug carriers that can localize chemotherapy to the lymphatic system, thus improving the treatment of localized disease while minimizing the exposure of healthy organs to cytotoxic drugs. This review will focus on the use of various nanoparticulate and polymeric systems that have been developed for imaging and drug delivery to the lymph system, how these new devices improve upon current technologies, and where further improvement is needed.
drug delivery; polymeric carriers; lymphatic system; sentinel lymph nodes; quantum dots; dendrimers
A new heterobifunctional (succinimidyl carbonate, SC)-activated poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) with a reversible 1,6-elimination linker and a terminal alkyne for "click" chemistry was synthesized with high efficiency and low polydispersity. The α-alkyne-ω-hydroxyl PEG was first prepared using trimethylsilyl-2-propargyl alcohol as an initiator for ring-opening polymerization of ethylene oxide followed by mild deprotection with tetrabutylammonium fluoride. The hydroxy end was then modified with diglycolic anhydride to generate α-alkyne-ω-carboxylic acid PEG. The reversible 1, 6-elimination linker was introduced by conjugation of a hydroxymethyl phenol followed by activation with N,N'-disuccinimidyl carbonate to generate the heterobifunctional α-alkyne-ω-SC PEG. The terminal alkyne is available for "click" conjugation to azido ligands via 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition, and the succinimidyl carbonate will form a reversible conjugate to amines (e.g. in proteins) that can release the unaltered amine after base or enzyme catalyzed cleavage of the 1,6-linker.
PEGylation; heterobifunctional PEG
Cisplatin (CDDP) is an effective anticancer agent for many solid tumors but has significant systemic toxicity limiting its use in many patients. We have designed a loco-regional delivery system to increase platinum levels in the lymphatics, where early metastasis is most likely to occur, while reducing systemic toxicities. CDDP was conjugated to a biocompatible polymer hyaluronan (HA), with a conjugation degree of approximately 20% (w/w). Conjugates were delivered via subcutaneous injection into the mammary fat pad of rats. Intravenous hyaluronan–cisplatin (HA–Pt) exhibited an increased plasma area under the curve (AUC) 2.7-fold compared to conventional CDDP but with a reduced peak plasma level (Cmax), and HA–Pt increased the ipsilateral lymph node AUC by 3.8-fold compared to CDDP. Urine creatinine was unchanged over 30 days following dosing of HA–Pt. This study demonstrates that intralymphatic drug delivery with polymer-conjugated platinum may provide greater tissue and systemic plasma concentrations of platinum than intravenous CDDP. In addition, localized particle delivery augmented distribution in the loco-regional tissue basin where tumor burden predominates, while renal toxicity compared to standard intravenous CDDP was significantly reduced.
cancer chemotherapy; pharmacokinetics; biodegradable polymers; controlled release; lymphatic transport; polymeric drug carrier; polymeric drug delivery systems
To determine the effects of intratumoral injection of a hyaluronan-cisplatin nanoconjugate on local and systemic platinum concentrations and systemic toxicosis.
5 dogs with spontaneous soft tissue sarcomas (STSs).
For each dog, approximately 1.5 mL of hyaluronan nanocarrier conjugated with 20 mg of cisplatin was injected into an external STS. Blood samples were collected immediately before (0 hours) and at 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 24, and 96 hours after hyaluronan-cisplatin injection for pharmacokinetic analyses. Urine samples were obtained at 0 and at 96 hours after hyaluronan-cisplatin injection for urinalysis. Each treated STS and its sentinel lymph nodes were surgically removed 96 hours after the hyaluronan-cisplatin injection. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry was used to measure platinum concentrations in blood samples, tumors, and lymph nodes.
No tissue reactions were detected 96 hours after hyaluronan-cisplatin injection. Mean ± SD area under the curve, peak concentration, and terminal half-life for unbound (plasma) and total (serum) platinum were 774.6 ± 221.1 ng·h/mL and 3,562.1 ± 2,031.1 ng·h/mL, 56.5 ± 20.9 ng/mL and 81.6 ± 40.4 ng/mL, and 33.6 ± 16.1 hours and 51.2 ± 29.1 hours, respectively. Platinum concentrations ranged from 3,325 to 8,229 ng/g in STSs and 130 to 6,066 ng/g in STS-associated lymph nodes.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance
Intratumoral injection of the hyaluronan-cisplatin nanoconjugate was well tolerated in treated dogs. Following intratumoral hyaluronan-cisplatin injection, platinum concentration was 1,000-fold and 100-fold greater within treated tumors and tumor-draining lymphatics, respectively, compared with that in plasma.
TGX-221 is a potent, selective, and cell membrane permeable inhibitor of the PI3K p110β catalytic subunit. Recent studies showed that TGX-221 has anti-proliferative activity against PTEN-deficient tumor cell lines including prostate cancers. The objective of this study was to develop an encapsulation system for parenterally delivering TGX-221 to the target tissue through a prostate-specific membrane aptamer (PSMAa10) with little or no side effects. In this study, PEG-PCL micelles were formulated to encapsulate the drug, and a prodrug strategy was pursued to improve the stability of the carrier system. Fluorescence imaging studies demonstrated that the cellular uptake of both drug and nanoparticles were significantly improved by targeted micelles in a PSMA positive cell line. The area under the plasma concentration time curve of the micelle formulation in nude mice was 2.27-fold greater than the naked drug, and the drug clearance rate was 17.5-fold slower. These findings suggest a novel formulation approach for improving site-specific drug delivery of a molecular-targeted prostate cancer treatment.
PEG-PCL micelle; TGX-221; PSMA; target delivery
Nitric oxide is a cell signaling molecule that can be a potent inducer of cell death in cancers at elevated concentrations. Nitric oxide molecules are short-lived in vivo; therefore, NO-donating prodrugs have been developed that can deliver NO to tissues at micromolar concentrations. However, NO is also toxic to normal tissues and chronic exposure at low levels can induce tumor growth. We have designed a polymeric carrier system to deliver nitric oxide locoregionally to tumorigenic tissues. A highly water solubility and biodegradable 4-arm polymer nanocarrier, sugar poly-(6-O-methacryloyl-D-galactose), was synthesized using MADIX/RAFT polymerization, and utilized to deliver high concentrations of nitric oxide to xenografts of human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). The in vitro release of the newly synthesized nitric oxide donor, O2-(2,4-dinitrophenyl) 1-[4-(2-hydroxy)ethyl]-3-methylpiperazin-1-yl]diazen-1-ium-1,2-diolate and its corresponding multi-arm polymer-based nanoconjugate demonstrated a 1- and 2.3-fold increase in half-life, respectively, compared to the release half-life of the nitric oxide -donor prodrug JS-K. When administered to tumor-bearing nude mice, the subcutaneously injected multi-arm polymer nitric oxide nanoparticles resulted in 50% tumor inhibition and a 7-week extension of the average survival time, compared to intravenous JS-K therapy (nitric oxide nanoparticles: CR=25%, PR=37.5%, PD=37.5%; JS-K: PD=100%). In summary, we have developed an effective nitric oxide anti-cancer chemotherapy that could be administered regionally to provide the local disease control, improving prognosis for head and neck cancers.
Crosslinked, degradable derivatives of low-molecular-weight polyethylenimine (PEI) are relatively efficient and non-cytotoxic gene delivery agents. To further investigate these promising materials, a new synthetic approach was developed using a poly(4-vinylpyridine)-supported Fe(III) catalyst (PVP(Fe(III))) that provides more facile synthesis and enhanced control of polymer molecular weight.
Biodegradable polymers (D.PEI) comprising 800-Da PEI crosslinked with 1,6-hexanediol diacrylate and exhibiting molecular weights of 1.2, 6.2, and 48 kDa were synthesized utilizing the PVP(Fe(III)) catalyst. D.PEI/DNA polyplexes were characterized using gel retardation, ethidium bromide exclusion, heparan sulfate displacement, and dynamic light scattering. In vitro transfection, cellular uptake, and cytotoxicity of the polyplexes were tested in human cervical cancer cells (HeLa) and human breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231).
D.PEIs tightly complexed plasmid DNA and formed 320- to 440-nm diameter polyplexes, similar to those comprising non-degradable, 25-kDa, branched PEI. D.PEI polyplexes mediated 2- to 5-fold increased gene delivery efficacy compared to 25-kDa PEI and exhibited 20% lower cytotoxicity in HeLa and no toxicity in MDA-MB-231. In addition, 2- to 7-fold improved cellular uptake of DNA was achieved with D.PEI polyplexes.
PVP(Fe(III)) catalyst provided a more controlled synthesis of D.PEIs, and these materials demonstrated improved in vitro transfection efficacy and reduced cytotoxicity.
polyethylenimine; non-viral gene delivery; biodegradable polymer; polymer supported ferric chloride
The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in the immune system’s recognition and response to disease, and most solid cancers initially spread from the primary site via the tumor’s surrounding lymphatics before hematological dissemination. Hence, the lymphatic system is an important target for developing new vaccines, cancer treatments, and diagnostic agents. Targeting the lymphatic system by subcutaneous, intestinal, and pulmonary routes has been evaluated and subsequently utilized to improve lymphatic penetration and retention of drug molecules, reduce drug-related systemic toxicities, and enhance bioavailability of poorly soluble and unstable drugs. Lymphatic imaging is an essential tool for the detection and staging of cancer. New nano-based technologies offer improved detection and characterization of the nodal diseases, while new delivery devices can better target and confine treatments to tumors within the nodal space while sparing healthy tissues. This manuscript reviews recent advances in the field of lymphatic drug delivery and imaging and focuses specifically on the development ofliposomes and solid lipid nanoparticles for lymphatic introduction via the subcutaneous, intestinal, and pulmonary routes.
Conventional oral and intravenous chemotherapies permeate throughout the body, exposing healthy tissues to similar cytotoxic drug levels as tumors. This leads to significant dose-limiting toxicities that may prevent patients from receiving sufficient treatment to overcome cancers. Therefore, a number of locoregional drug-delivery strategies have been evaluated and implemented in preclinical studies, clinical trials and in practice, in the past decades to minimize systemic toxicities from chemotherapeutic agents and to improve treatment outcomes. Localized treatment is beneficial because many cancers, such as melanoma, peritoneal cancer and breast cancer, advance locally adjacent to the site of the primary tumors prior to their circulatory invasion. In this article, we will review the feasibility, safety and efficacy of multiple localized chemotherapies in clinical use and preclinical development.
Flip-flop pharmacokinetics is a phenomenon often encountered with extravascularly administered drugs. Occurrence of flip-flop spans preclinical to human studies. The purpose of this article is to analyze both the pharmacokinetic interpretation errors and opportunities underlying the presence of flip-flop pharmacokinetics during drug development. Flip-flop occurs when the rate of absorption is slower than the rate of elimination. If it is not recognized, it can create difficulties in the acquisition and interpretation of pharmacokinetic parameters. When flip-flop is expected or discovered, a longer duration of sampling may be necessary in order to avoid overestimation of fraction of dose absorbed. Common culprits of flip-flop disposition are modified dosage formulations; however, formulation characteristics such as the drug chemical entities themselves or the incorporated excipients can also cause the phenomenon. Yet another contributing factor is the physiological makeup of the extravascular site of administration. In this article, these causes of flip-flop pharmacokinetics are discussed with incorporation of relevant examples and the implications for drug development outlined.
Since head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) preferentially metastasizes to the locoregional lymphatics, treatment of the tumor-draining cervical lymph nodes is paramount.
We developed a hyaluronan–cisplatin (HA–Pt) nanoconjugate with prolonged lymphatic retention and greatly improved tumor tissue deposition for the treatment of metastatic HNSCC. We also developed an orthotopic metastatic xenograft model of HNSCC to examine the efficacy of the nanoconjugate. HNSCC (1/week × 3 weeks) were completely cured for 57% of the female mice in the HA–Pt treatment group, which demonstrated greatly hindered HNSCC progression compared with the standard cisplatin therapy (p < 0.05).
With this insight, we will be able to optimize the carriers for better uptake, penetration and retention within cancer cells.
Cisplatin (CDDP) intravenous treatments suffer several dose-limiting toxicity issues. Hyaluronan (HA), a naturally occurring biopolymer in the interstitium, is primarily cleared by the lymphatic system. An alteration in input rate and administration route through pulmonary delivery of hyaluronan-cisplatin conjugate (HA-Pt) may increase local lung CDDP concentrations and decrease systemic toxicity.
Sprague-Dawley rats were split into four groups: i.v. CDDP (3.5 mg/kg), i.v. HA-Pt conjugate (3.5 mg/kg equivalent CDDP), lung instillation CDDP and lung instillation HA-Pt conjugate. Total platinum level in the lungs of the HA-Pt lung instillation group was 5.7-fold and 1.2-fold higher than the CDDP intravenous group at 24 h and 96 h, respectively. A 1.1-fold increase of Pt accumulation in lung draining nodes for the HA-Pt lung instillation group was achieved at 24 h relative to the CDDP i.v. group. In the brain and kidneys, the CDDP i.v. group had higher tissue/plasma ratios compared to the HA-Pt lung instillation group. Augmented tissue distribution from CDDP i.v. could translate into enhanced tissue toxicity compared to the altered input rate and distribution of the intrapulmonary nanoformulation.
In conclusion, a local pulmonary CDDP delivery system was developed with increased platinum concentration in the lungs and draining nodes compared to i.v. therapy.
cisplatin; hyaluronan; pharmacokinetics; pulmonary delivery; lung chemotherapeutics
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the US. Currently, protocols for cancer treatment include surgery to remove diseased and suspect tissues, focused radiation, systemic chemotherapy, immunotherapy and their combinations. With conventional chemotherapy, it is almost impossible to deliver anticancer drugs specifically to the tumor cells without damaging healthy organs or tissues. Over the past several decades, efforts have been made to improve drug delivery technologies that target anticancer drugs specifically to tumor cells. It has been known for over four decades that the lymphatics are the first site of metastasis for most solid cancers; however, few efforts have been made to localize chemotherapies to lymphatic tissues. Trials of several systemic targeted drug delivery systems based on nanoparticles containing chemotherapeutic agents (e.g., liposomal doxorubicin) have shown similar antitumor activity but better patient tolerance compared with conventional formulations. Animal studies have demonstrated that nanoparticles made of natural or synthetic polymers and liposomal carriers have higher accumulation in the lymph nodes and surrounding lymphatics compared to conventional intravenous therapies. This combination has the potential to both reduce nonspecific organ toxicities and increase the chemotherapeutic dose to the most likely sites of locoregional cancer metastasis.
cancer diagnosis; chemotherapies; liposomes; lymphatics; nanoparticles
Synthetic nanoparticles are emerging as versatile tools in biomedical applications, particularly in the area of biomedical imaging. Nanoparticles 1 – 100 nm in diameter have dimensions comparable to biological functional units. Diverse surface chemistries, unique magnetic properties, tunable absorption and emission properties, and recent advances in the synthesis and engineering of various nanoparticles suggest their potential as probes for early detection of diseases such as cancer. Surface functionalization has expanded further the potential of nanoparticles as probes for molecular imaging.
To summarize emerging research of nanoparticles for biomedical imaging with increased selectivity and reduced nonspecific uptake with increased spatial resolution containing stabilizers conjugated with targeting ligands.
This review summarizes recent technological advances in the synthesis of various nanoparticle probes, and surveys methods to improve the targeting of nanoparticles for their application in biomedical imaging.
Structural design of nanomaterials for biomedical imaging continues to expand and diversify. Synthetic methods have aimed to control the size and surface characteristics of nanoparticles to control distribution, half-life and elimination. Although molecular imaging applications using nanoparticles are advancing into clinical applications, challenges such as storage stability and long-term toxicology should continue to be addressed.
biomedical imaging; molecular imaging; nanoparticle synthesis; surface modification; targeting
The therapeutic usefulness of anticancer agents relies on their ability to exert maximal toxicity to cancer cells and minimal toxicity to normal cells. The difference between these two parameters defines the therapeutic index of the agent. Towards this end, much research has focused on the design of anticancer agents that have optimized potency against a variety of cancer cell types; however, much less effort is spent on the design of drugs that are minimally toxic to normal cells. We have previously described a concept for a novel drug delivery platform that relies on the propensity of drugs with optimal physicochemical properties to distribute differently in normal versus cancer cells due to differences in intracellular pH gradients. Specifically, we demonstrated in vitro that certain weakly basic anticancer agents had the propensity to distribute to intracellular locations in normal cells that prevent interaction with the drug target, and to intracellular locations in cancer cells that promote drug-target interactions. We refer to this concept broadly as intracellular distribution-based drug targeting. Here we will discuss current in vivo work from our laboratory that examined the role of lysosome pH on the intracellular distribution and toxicity of inhibitors of the Hsp90 molecular chaperone in mice.
Intracellular; Drug delivery; Drug targeting; Lysosomes; Anticancer; Heat shock proteins
A lymphatically delivered nanoconjugate of cisplatin was evaluated in an orthotopic mouse model of locoregionally metastatic breast cancer (LABC) to determine if it can overcome some of the limitations of standard cisplatin therapy such as high systemic toxicity.
Human breast cancer cells (107 MDA-MB-468LN) were injected into the mammary fat pad of female nu/nu mice. Once tumor volume reached 50 mm3; intravenous cisplatin or subcutaneous hyaluronan-cisplatin [HA-cisplatin] nanoconjugate was given 1/week × 3 at 3.3 mg/kg (platinum basis).
Nanoconjugates co-localized with the tumors after subcutaneous peritumoral injection and demonstrated improved efficacy to intravenous cisplatin. After one month, renal tubular hemorrhage and edema were more prevalent in the intravenous formulation compared to subcutaneous HA-cisplatin nanoconjugates.
This nanocarrier delivery platform focuses drug in the areas where tumor burden is greatest, potentially reducing systemic toxicity, and has future applicability as a neoadjuvant or adjuvant therapy for LABC.
It is well recognized that physical and chemical properties of materials can alter dramatically at nanoscopic scale, and the growing use of nanotechnologies requires careful assessment of unexpected toxicities and biological interactions. However, most in vivo toxicity concerns focus primarily on pulmonary, oral, and dermal exposure to ultrafine particles. As nanomaterials expand as therapeutics and as diagnostic tools, parenteral administration of engineered nanomaterials should also be recognized as a critical aspect for toxicity consideration. Due to the complex nature of nanomaterials, conflicting studies have led to different views of their safety. Here, the physicochemical properties of four representative nanomaterials (dendrimers, carbon nanotubes, quantum dots, and gold nanoparticles) as it relates to their toxicity after systemic exposure is discussed.
nanomaterial; toxicity; in vivo; dendrimer; carbon nanotube; quantum dot; gold nanoparticle; analysis
Tanespimycin (17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin or 17-AAG) is a promising heat shock protein 90 inhibitor currently undergoing clinical trials for the treatment of cancer. Despite its selective mechanism of action on cancer cells, 17-AAG faces challenging issues due to its poor aqueous solubility, requiring formulation with Cremophor EL (CrEL) or ethanol (EtOH). Therefore, a CrEL-free formulation of 17-AAG was prepared using amphiphilic diblock micelles of poly(ethylene oxide)-b-poly(D,L-lactide) (PEO-b-PDLLA). Dynamic light scattering revealed PEO-b-PDLLA (12:6 kDa) micelles with average sizes of 257 nm and critical micelle concentrations of 350 nM, solubilizing up to 1.5 mg/mL of 17-AAG. The area under the curve (AUC) of PEO-b-PDLLA micelles was 1.3-fold that of the standard formulation. The renal clearance (CLrenal) increased and the hepatic clearance (CLhepatic) decreased with the micelle formulation, as compared to the standard vehicle. The micellar formulation showed a 1.3-fold increase in the half-life (t1/2) of the drug in serum and 1.2-fold increase in t1/2 of urine. As expected, because it circulated longer in the blood, we also observed a 1.7-fold increase in the volume of distribution (Vd) with this micelle formulation compared to the standard formulation. Overall, the new formulation of 17-AAG in PEO-b-PDLLA (12:6 kDa) micelles resulted in a favorable 150-fold increase in solubility over 17-AAG alone, while retaining similar properties to the standard formulation. Our data indicates that the nanocarrier system can retain the pharmacokinetic disposition of 17-AAG without the need for toxic agents such as CrEL and EtOH.
Geldanamycin; Poly(ethylene oxide)-b-poly(D,L-Lactide); Cremophor EL; Polymeric micelle; Pharmacokinetics; 17-AAG; 17-Allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin
Geldanamycin (GA) and its analogues inhibit heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) and have shown significant antitumor activity in vivo; however, clinical development of GA has been hampered by its poor solubility and severe hepatotoxicity. More soluble analogues, such as 17-DMAG and 17-AAG, are easier to formulate, and have progressed through early clinical trials. However the large volume of distribution and systemic toxicity associated with these analogues may limit their distribution into tumors, thereby severely reducing efficacy and increasing nonspecific toxicities. We have evaluated a formulation of a lipophilic GA prodrug, 17′GAC16Br encapsulated in methoxy-capped poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(ε-caprolactone) (mPEG-b-PCL) micelles, by comparing it to free 17-DMAG at 10 mg/kg in rats. mPEG-b-PCL micelles reported herein demonstrated substantial sustained release and conversion of 17′GAC16Br into 17′GAOH at significantly greater levels in all tissues analyzed compared to the free drug, allowing for a 72-fold enhancement in the AUC, a 21-fold decrease in Vd, an 11-fold decrease in CLtot, and a 2-fold and 7-fold enhancement in the overall MRT of 17′GAC16Br and 17′GAOH, respectively. Importantly, the micellar formulation exhibited lower systemic toxicity than 17-DMAG, with a MTD > 200 mg/kg and a 2000-fold enhancement in the AUC. 17′GAC16Br in micelles were poorly cleared renally, in contrast to 17-DMAG and 17′GAOH, but showed preferential accumulation and prodrug conversion in reticuloendothelial organs of normal animals. Overall, the data indicates that this nanocarrier system is a promising alternative to the current 17-DMAG formulation and offers excellent potential for further pre-clinical and clinical cancer studies.
Geldanamycin prodrug; Poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(ε-caprolactone); Pharmacokinetics; Polymeric micelle; free 17-DMAG (17-dimethylaminoethylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin)
Breast cancers typically spread to regional lymph nodes once they disseminate from the primary tumor, thus adequate evaluation and treatment of the axillary lymph nodes is paramount in early stage disease. One significant problem with current therapy is the side effects chemotherapy agents create systemically either alone or in combination. The purpose of this study is to determine if lymphatically targeted cisplatin carriers will increase the localized dose in lymphatic metastases without systemic toxicities.
Hyaluronan (HA) is a highly biocompatible polymer that follows lymphatic drainage from the interstitial spaces. We formed complexes of HA and cisplatin by non-covalent conjugation. Complexes were injected subcutaneously into the upper mammary fat pad of female rats, and the tissue distribution determined.
Cisplatin-HA contained up to 0.25 w/w of Pt and released drug with a half-life of 10 hours in saline. Cisplatin-HA conjugates had high anti-tumor activity in vitro similar to the free drug: cisplatin-HA IC50 7µg/mL in MCF7 and MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells (free cisplatin IC50 7µg/mL). Cisplatin-HA conjugates were well tolerated in rodents with no signs of injection site morbidity or major organ toxicity after 96 hours. The AUC of cisplatin in the axially lymph nodes after injection with cisplatin-HA increased 74% compared to normal cisplatin.
This study demonstrates a novel intralymphatic drug delivery method in breast cancer to preferentially treat at-risk regional lymph nodes and avoid systemic toxicities. Further in vivo testing related to efficacy of this approach with regard to survival, toxicity and pharmacokinetics is warranted to support its use in human trials.
cancer; polymeric drug carrier; lymphatic transport; cancer chemotherapy
To determine the pharmacokinetics, tissue, and blood distribution of rapamycin PEG-block-poly(ε-caprolactone) (PEG-b-PCL) micelle formulations with and without the addition of α-tocopherol compared to control rapamycin in Tween 80/PEG 400/N,N-dimethylacetamide (DMA) (7:64:29).
Rapamycin was incorporated at 10% w/w into PEG-b-PCL micelles (5:10 kDa) using a solvent extraction technique. The co-incorporation of 2:1 α-tocopherol:PEG-b-PCL was also studied. Rapamycin was quantified utilizing LC/MS in a Waters XTerra MS C18 column with 32-desmethoxyrapamycin as the internal standard. Male Sprague Dawley rats (N = 4 per group; ~200 g) were cannulated via the left jugular and dosed intravenously (IV) with the rapamycin control and micelle formulations (10 mg/kg, 1:9 ratio for rapamycin to PEG-b-PCL). For tissue distribution 24 h after IV dosing, whole blood, plasma, red blood cells, and all the representative tissues were collected. The tissues were rapidly frozen under liquid nitrogen and ground to a fine powder. The rapamycin concentrations in plasma and red blood cells were utilized to determine the blood distribution (partition coefficient between plasma and red blood cells). For the determination of the pharmacokinetic parameters, blood, plasma, and urine samples were collected over 48 h. The pharmacokinetic parameters were calculated using WinNonlin® (Version 5.1) software.
Rapamycin concentrations were considerably less in brain after administration of both micelle formulations compared to a rapamycin in the Tween 80/PEG 400/DMA control group. There was a 2-fold and 1.6-fold increase in the plasma fraction for rapamycin micelles with and without α-tocopherol. There was a decrease in volume of distribution for both formulations, an increase in AUC, a decrease in clearance, and increase in half life respectively for rapamycin in PEG-b-PCL + α-tocopherol micelles and in PEG-b-PCL micelles. There was no mortality with the micelle formulations compared to 60% mortality with rapamycin in Tween 80/PEG 400/DMA.
The decreased distribution into the brain of rapamycin in PEG-b-PCL micelles may ameliorate rapamycin neurotoxicity. Both micelle formulations increase rapamycin distribution in plasma, which could facilitate access into solid tumors. The micellar delivery systems of rapamycin impart in vivo controlled release, resulting in altered disposition, and dramatically reduced mortality.
Rapamycin; Nanocarrier; Poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(ε-caprolactone); Polymer micelle; Pharmacokinetics; Delivery
Drug distribution in cells is a fundamentally important, yet often overlooked, variable in drug efficacy. Many weakly basic anticancer agents accumulate extensively in the acidic lysosomes of normal cells through ion trapping. Lysosomal trapping reduces the activity of anticancer drugs, since anticancer drug targets are often localized in the cell cytosol or nucleus. Some cancer cells have defective acidification of lysosomes, which causes a redistribution of trapped drugs from the lysosomes to the cytosol. We have previously established that such differences in drug localization between normal and cancer cells can contribute to the apparent selectivity of weakly basic drugs to cancer cells in vitro. In this work, we tested whether this intracellular distribution-based drug selectivity could be optimized based on the acid dissociation constant (pKa) of the drug, which is one of the determinants of lysosomal sequestration capacity. We synthesized seven weakly basic structural analogs of the Hsp90 inhibitor geldanamycin (GDA) with pKa values ranging from 5 to 12. The selectivity of each analog was expressed by taking ratios of anti-proliferative IC50 values of the inhibitors in normal fibroblasts to the IC50 values in human leukemic HL-60 cells. Similar selectivity assessments were performed in a pair of cancer cell lines that differed in lysosomal pH as a result of siRNA-mediated alteration of vacuolar proton ATPase subunit expression. Optimal selectivity was observed for analogs with pKa values near 8. Similar trends were observed with commercial anticancer agents with varying weakly basic pKa values. These evaluations advance our understanding of how weakly basic properties can be optimized to achieve maximum anticancer drug selectivity towards cancer cells with defective lysosomal acidification in vitro. Additional in vivo studies are needed to examine the utility of this approach for enhancing selectivity.