Dexamethasone-Loaded Block Copolymer Nanoparticles Induce Leukemia Cell Death and Enhance Therapeutic Efficacy: A Novel Application in Pediatric Nanomedicine

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Delaware , 201 DuPont Hall, Newark, Delaware 19716-1501, United States.
Molecular Pharmaceutics (Impact Factor: 4.38). 06/2013; 10(6):2199-2210. DOI: 10.1021/mp300350e
Source: PubMed


Nanotechnology approaches have tremendous potential for enhancing treatment efficacy with lower doses of chemotherapeutics. Nanoparticle (NP)-based drug delivery approaches are poorly developed for childhood leukemia. Dexamethasone (Dex) is one of the most common chemotherapeutic drugs used in the treatment of childhood leukemia. In this study, we encapsulated Dex in polymeric NPs and validated their antileukemic potential in vitro and in vivo. NPs with an average diameter of 110 nm were assembled from an amphiphilic block copolymer of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) bearing pendant cyclic ketals (ECT2). The blank NPs were nontoxic to cultured cells in vitro and to mice in vivo. Encapsulation of Dex into the NPs (Dex-NP) did not compromise the bioactivity of the drug. Dex-NPs induced glucocorticoid phosphorylation and showed cytotoxicity similar to the free Dex in leukemic cells. Studies using NPs labeled with fluorescent dyes revealed leukemic cell surface binding and internalization. In vivo biodistribution studies showed NP accumulation in the liver and spleen with subsequent clearance of the particles with time. In a preclinical model of leukemia, Dex-NPs significantly improved the quality of life and survival of mice as compared to the free drug. To our knowledge, this is the first report showing the efficacy of polymeric NPs to deliver Dex to potentially treat childhood leukemia and reveals that low doses of Dex should be sufficient for inducing cell death and improving survival.

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    • "Specially, synthetic amphiphilic block copolymers consisting of hydrophobic core and PEG shell have drawn great interests owing to their excellent biocompatibility.[9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] Meanwhile, the low toxicity, the ability to effectively prolong the retention time in blood and then be excreted by kidneys make them safe for medical applications.[15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] In particular, NPs formed from PEG and poly (ε-caprolactone) (PCL) block copolymer have been extensively studied due to the fact that PCL is an FDA-approved biodegradable polymer with potential applications in other aspects as biomaterials.[22] "
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    ABSTRACT: The improvement of the solid content of the hydrophobic drugs (such as paclitaxel (PTX), etc.) loaded nanoparticles (NPs) dispersion is important for enhancing drug-loaded efficiency and reducing the cost in production and application. A diblock copolymer methoxy poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(ε-caprolactone-co-1,4,8-trioxa[4.6]spiro-9-undecanone) (mPECT) is synthesized via the ring-opening polymerization of ε-caprolactone and 1,4,8-trioxa[4.6]spiro-9-undecanone (TOSUO) with methoxy poly(ethyleneglycol) (mPEG) as the initiator. The chemical structures and thermal properties of mPECT are characterized by (1)HNMR, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), gel permeation chromatography, differential scanning calorimetry, etc. PEG45.45-b-P(C28.33-co-T5.38) (mPECT-2) is able to self-assemble into stable NPs in water via nanoprecipitation method at a high solid content (≤25 wt%) and their freeze-dried powders can well re-disperse in water. The paclitaxel (PTX) is chosen as a hydrophobic drug model and successfully encapsulate into the mPECT-2 NPs via the same method at a high solid content. The encapsulation efficiency, cytotoxicity and in vitro release of PTX-loaded NPs are investigated. The results suggest that the behavior of the drug-loaded mPECT-2 NPs prepared at a solid content of 25 wt% is similar to that of NPs prepared at a solid content of 1 wt%, which indicate that increasing solid content of polymer has no negative effect on the properties of NPs dispersion in application. In summary, the freeze-dried NPs prepared from the high solid content dispersion (≤25 wt%) has a good redispersibility and exhibits great potential in cost control of preparing NPs dispersion used as drug delivery system.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Journal of Biomaterials Science Polymer Edition
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    • "Several strategies including the use of nanoparticles have been proposed to avoid these concerns including its long-term impairment of physiological functions (22). A variety of nanoparticles, including dendrimers, gold particles, liposomes, micelles, and polymers have been described to improve the bioavailability or the therapeutic efficacy of currently used anti-cancer agents (14, 16). These nanodelivery systems have yet to be evaluated in pediatric leukemia patients. "
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    ABSTRACT: The two major forms of leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML), account for about one-third of the malignancies diagnosed in children. Despite the marked successes in ALL and AML treatment, concerns remain regarding the occurrence of resistant disease in subsets of patients, the residual effects of therapy that often persist for decades beyond the cessation of treatment. Therefore, new approaches are needed to reduce or to avoid off target toxicities, associated with chemotherapy and their long-term residual effects. Recently, nanotechnology has been employed to enhance cancer therapy, via improving the bioavailability and therapeutic efficacy of anti-cancer agents. While in the last several years, numerous review articles appeared detailing the size, composition, assembly, and performance evaluation of different types of drug carrying nanoparticles, the description and evaluation of lipoprotein-based drug carriers have been conspicuously absent from most of these major reviews. The current review focuses on such information regarding nanoparticles with an emphasis on high density lipoprotein-based drug delivery systems to examine their potential role(s) in the enhanced treatment of children with leukemia.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Frontiers in Oncology
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    ABSTRACT: Unlabelled: Dexamethasone (DXM) is a synthetic glucocorticoid with anti-inflammatory properties. Targeted delivery of dexamethasone to inflammatory cells, e.g. macrophages and Kupffer cells represents a promising approach to minimize side effects. The aim of the present study was to induce a targeted transport of novel DXM-based biodegradable nanocapsules to phagocytic cells. Nanocapsules (NCs) consisting of a hydroxyethylated glucose polymer (hydroxyethyl starch, HES) shell with encapsulated DXM and NCs synthesized exclusively in inverse miniemulsion out of DXM were investigated. Non-parenchymal murine liver cells served as target cells. HES-DXM NCs were predominantly incorporated by Kupffer cells (KCs). In contrast, DXM NCs were phagocytized by KCs and endothelial cells. The release of the NC-content was confirmed by incorporation of CellTracker™ into the NCs. Uptake of DXM NCs by Kupffer cells reduced significantly the release of inflammatory cytokines in response to LPS stimulation. Importantly, the DXM NCs consisting exclusively out of a dexamethasone shell offer the potential to serve as carriers for additional therapeutics. From the clinical editor: In this paper, nanocapsule-based targeted delivery of dexamethasone to inflammatory cells is presented as a promising approach to minimize side effects and increase efficacy of this anti-inflammatory clinically used corticosteroid.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Nanomedicine: nanotechnology, biology, and medicine
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