Nanotechnology-Based Cancer Therapeutics-Promise and Challenge-Lessons Learned Through the NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer

Center for Strategic Scientific Initiatives, Office of Director, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.
Pharmaceutical Research (Impact Factor: 3.42). 02/2011; 28(2):273-8. DOI: 10.1007/s11095-010-0214-7
Source: PubMed


The new generation of nanotechnology-based drug formulations is challenging the accepted ways of cancer treatment. Multi-functional nanomaterial constructs have the capability to be delivered directly to the tumor site and eradicate cancer cells selectively, while sparing healthy cells. Tailoring of the nano-construct design can result in enhanced drug efficacy at lower doses as compared to free drug treatment, wider therapeutic window, and lower side effects. Nanoparticle carriers can also address several drug delivery problems which could not be effectively solved in the past and include reduction of multi-drug resistance effects, delivery of siRNA, and penetration of the blood-brain-barrier. Although challenges in understanding toxicity, biodistribution, and paving an effective regulatory path must be met, nanoscale devices carry a formidable promise to change ways cancer is diagnosed and treated. This article summarizes current developments in nanotechnology-based drug delivery and discusses path forward in this field. The discussion is done in context of research and development occurring within the NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer program.

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    • "Several products are already in routine clinical use (e.g. Doxil®, Abraxane®) with a growing number of technologies including polymer therapeutics in clinical development [2, 3]. Intravenously (i.v.) administered long-circulating nanosized constructs have long been known to exhibit passive tumour targeting due to the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect [5, 6]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Intravenously (i.v.) administered nanomedicines have the potential for tumour targeting due to the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect, but in vivo tumour models are rarely calibrated with respect to functional vascular permeability and/or mechanisms controlling intratumoural drug release. Here the effect of tumour type and tumour size on EPR-mediated tumour localisation and cathepsin B-mediated drug release was studied. Evans Blue (10 mg/kg) and an N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide (HPMA) copolymer-doxorubicin (Dox) conjugate (FCE28068) (5 mg/kg Dox-equiv) were used as probes and tumour levels (and Dox release) measured at 1 h after i.v. administration in a panel of murine and human xenograft tumours. Evans Blue and FCE28068 displayed similar tumour levels in the range of 2-18 % dose/g at 1 h for B16F10 and L1210. Approximately half of the tumour models evaluated exhibited tumour size-dependent accumulation of FCE28068; smaller tumours had the highest accumulation. Administration of free Dox (5 mg/kg) produced tumour levels of <2.5 % dose/g independent of tumour size. Whereas the degree of EPR-mediated targeting showed ~12-fold difference across the tumour models evaluated, Dox release from FCE28068 at 1 h displayed ~200-fold variation. Marked heterogeneity was seen in terms of EPR effect and Dox release rate, underlining the need to carefully calibrate tumour models used to benchmark nanomedicines against known relevant standard agents and for optimal development of strategies for late pre-clinical and clinical development.
    Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology 06/2013; 72(2). DOI:10.1007/s00280-013-2209-7
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    • "Arrows indicate representative examples of cells internalizing CMCht/ PAMAM dendrimer nanoparticles may prove efficient and avoid classic secondary side effects. Indeed, the encapsulation of cytotoxic small molecules, protein-or peptide-signaling ligands, and siRNAs has already been shown in recent studies (Farrell et al. 2011; Du et al. 2012; Raoof et al. 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma (GBM) is simultaneously the most common and most malignant subtype tumor of the central nervous system. These are particularly dramatic diseases ranking first among all human tumor types for tumor-related average years of life lost and for which curative therapies are not available. Recently, the use of nanoparticles as drug delivery systems (DDS) for tumor treatment has gained particular interest. In an attempt to evaluate the potential of carboxymethylchitosan/poly(amidoamine) (CMCht/PAMAM) dendrimer nanoparticles as a DDS, we aimed to evaluate its cytotoxicity and internalization efficiency in GBM cell models. CMCht/PAMAM-mediated cytotoxicity was evaluated in a GBM cell line (U87MG) and in human immortalized astrocytes (hTERT/E6/E7) by MTS and double-stranded DNA quantification. CMCht/PAMAM internalization was assessed by double fluorescence staining. Both cells lines present similar internalization kinetics when exposed to a high dose (400 μg/mL) of these nanoparticles. However, the internalization rate was higher in tumor GBM cells as compared to immortalized astrocytes when cells were exposed to lower doses (200 μg/mL) of CMCht/PAMAM for short periods (<24 h). After 48 h of exposure, both cell lines present ~100 % of internalization efficiency for the tested concentrations. Importantly, short-term exposures (1, 6, 12, 24, and 48 h) did not show cytotoxicity, and long-term exposures (7 days) to CMCht/PAMAM induced only low levels of cytotoxicity in both cell lines (~20 % of decrease in metabolic activity). The high efficiency and rate of internalization of CMCht/PAMAM we show here suggest that these nanoparticles may be an attractive DDS for brain tumor treatment in the future.
    Journal of Nanoparticle Research 04/2013; 15(5). DOI:10.1007/s11051-013-1621-6
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    • "Chemotherapy is widely used to treat cancer patients, but most anticancer drugs show a narrow therapeutic window [1]. Recent drug discovery and development studies are focused on maximizing the therapeutic efficacy of potent anticancer drugs at low dose levels [2]. Targeted drug treatment and controlled drug delivery are techniques used widely to achieve effective cancer treatment with reduced toxicity. "
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    ABSTRACT: Combination effects of docetaxel (DOC) and doxorubicin (DOX) were investigated in prostate cancer cells (PC3 and DU145). Combination indices (CIs) were determined using the unified theory in various concentrations and mixing ratios (synergy: CI < 0.9, additivity: 0.9 < CI < 1.1, and antagonism: CI > 1.1). DOC showed a biphasic cytotoxicity pattern with the half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) at the picomolar range for PC3 (0.598 nM) and DU145 (0.469 nM), following 72 h drug exposure. The IC50s of DOX were 908 nM and 343 nM for PC3 and DU145, respectively. Strong synergy was seen when PC3 was treated with DOC at concentrations lower than its IC50 values (0.125~0.5 nM) plus DOX (2~8 times IC50). Equipotent drug combination treatments (7 × 7) revealed that the DOC/DOX combination leads to high synergy and effective cell death only in a narrow concentration range in DU145. This study provides a convenient method to predict multiple drug combination effects by the estimated CI values as well as cell viability data. The proposed DOC/DOX mixing ratios can be used to design combination drug cocktails or delivery systems to improve chemotherapy for cancer patients.
    07/2012; 2012(7):832059. DOI:10.1155/2012/832059
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