Doxorubicin vs. ladirubicin: methods for improving osteosarcoma treatment.
ABSTRACT Osteosarcoma is the most common primary bone tumor in children and adolescents, with a 5-year disease free survival rate of 70%. Current chemotherapy regimens comprise a group of chemotherapeutic agents in which doxorubicin is included. However, tumor resistance to anthracyclines and cardiotoxicity are limiting factors for its usage. Liposomal formulations of doxorubicin improve its anti-cancer effects but are still insufficient. The research in this area has lead to the production of anthracyclines analogues, such as ladirubicin, the leading compound of alkylcyclines. This new anticancer agent has shown promising results in vivo and in vitro, being effective against osteosarcoma cell lines, including those with a multidrug resistant phenotype. In phase I clinical trials, this molecule caused mild side effects and did not induce significant cardiotoxicity at doses ranging from 1 to 16 mg/m2, resulting in a peak plasma concentration (Cmax) ranging from 0.5 to 1.5 μM. The recommended doses for phase II studies were 12 and 14 mg/m2 in heavily and minimally pretreated/non-pretreated patients, respectively. Phase II clinical trials in ovary, breast, colorectal cancer, NSCLC and malignant melanoma are underway. Given the improved molecular targeting efficacy of these new compounds, ongoing approaches have sought to improve drug delivery systems, to improve treatment efficacy while reducing systemic toxicity. The combination of these two approaches may be a good start for the discovery of new treatment for osteosarcoma.