Nanotechnology-Based Cancer Therapeutics-Promise and Challenge-Lessons Learned Through the NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer
ABSTRACT 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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ABSTRACT: Tumor-specific immunotherapy holds the promise of eradicating malignant tumors with exquisite precision without additional toxicity to standard treatments. Cancer immunotherapy has conventionally relied on cell-mediated immunity while successful infectious disease vaccines have been shown to induce humoral immunity. Efficacious cancer immunotherapeutics likely require both cellular and humoral responses, and RNA based cancer vaccines are especially suited to stimulate both arms of the immune system. RNA is inherently immunogenic, inducing innate immune responses to initiate cellular and humoral adaptive immunity, but has limited utility based on its poor in vivo stability. Early work utilized 'naked' RNA vaccines, whereas more recent efforts have attempted to encapsulate RNA thereby protecting it from degradation. However, feasibility has been limited by a lack of defined and safe targeting mechanisms for the in vivo delivery of stabilized RNA. As new cancer antigens come to the forefront with novel RNA encapsulation and targeting techniques, RNA vaccines may prove to be a vital, safe and robust method to initiate patient-specific anti-tumor efficacy.04/2015; 3:13. DOI:10.1186/s40425-015-0058-0
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ABSTRACT: B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (BPL) is the most common form of cancer in children and adolescents. Our recent studies have demonstrated that CD22ΔE12 is a characteristic genetic defect of therapy-refractory clones in paediatric BPL and implicated the CD22ΔE12 genetic defect in the aggressive biology of relapsed or therapy-refractory paediatric BPL. The purpose of the present study is to evaluate the biological significance of the CD22ΔE12 molecular lesion in BPL and determine if it could serve as a molecular target for RNA interference (RNAi) therapy. Here we report a previously unrecognized causal link between CD22ΔE12 and aggressive biology of human BPL cells by demonstrating that siRNA-mediated knockdown of CD22ΔE12 in primary leukaemic B-cell precursors is associated with a marked inhibition of their clonogenicity. Additionally, we report a nanoscale liposomal formulation of CD22ΔE12-specific siRNA with potent in vitro and in vivo anti-leukaemic activity against primary human BPL cells as a first-in-class RNAi therapeutic candidate targeting CD22ΔE12.British Journal of Haematology 02/2015; DOI:10.1111/bjh.13306 · 4.96 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background High toxicity, morbidity and secondary malignancy render chemotherapy of neuroblastoma inefficient, prompting the search for novel compounds. Nanovesicles offer great promise in imaging and treatment of cancer. SapC-DOPS, a stable nanovesicle formed from the lysosomal protein saposin C and dioleoylphosphatidylserine possess strong affinity for abundantly exposed surface phosphatidylserine on cancer cells. Here, we show that SapC-DOPS effectively targets and suppresses neuroblastoma growth and elucidate the molecular mechanism of SapC-DOPS action in neuroblastoma in vitro. Methods In vivo targeting of neuroblastoma was assessed in xenograft mice injected intravenously with fluorescently-labeled SapC-DOPS. Xenografted tumors were also used to demonstrate its therapeutic efficacy. Apoptosis induction in vivo was evaluated in tumor sections using the TUNEL assay. The mechanisms underlying the induction of apoptosis by SapC-DOPS were addressed through measurements of cell viability, mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨM), flow cytometric DNA fragmentation assays and by immunoblot analysis of second mitochondria-derived activator of caspases (Smac), Bax, Cytochrome c (Cyto c) and Caspase-3 in the cytosol or in mitochondrial fractions of cultured neuroblastoma cells. Results SapC-DOPS showed specific targeting and prevented the growth of human neuroblastoma xenografts in mice. In neuroblastoma cells in vitro, apoptosis occurred via a series of steps that included: (1) loss of ΔΨM and increased mitochondrial superoxide formation; (2) cytosolic release of Smac, Cyto c, AIF; and (3) mitochondrial translocation and polymerization of Bax. ShRNA-mediated Smac knockdown and V5 peptide-mediated Bax inhibition decreased cytosolic Smac and Cyto c release along with caspase activation and abrogated apoptosis, indicating that Smac and Bax are critical mediators of SapC-DOPS action. Similarly, pretreatment with the mitochondria-stabilizing agent bongkrekic acid decreased apoptosis indicating that loss of ΔΨM is critical for SapC-DOPS activity. Apoptosis induction was not critically dependent on reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and Cyclophilin D, since pretreatment with N-acetyl cysteine and cyclosporine A, respectively, did not prevent Smac or Cyto c release. Conclusions Taken together, our results indicate that SapC-DOPS acts through a mitochondria-mediated pathway accompanied by an early release of Smac and Bax. Specific tumor-targeting capacity and anticancer efficacy of SapC-DOPS supports its potential as a dual imaging and therapeutic agent in neuroblastoma therapy. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12943-015-0336-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.Molecular Cancer 04/2015; 14. DOI:10.1186/s12943-015-0336-y · 5.40 Impact Factor