Local Delivery of Cannabinoid-Loaded Microparticles Inhibits Tumor Growth in a Murine Xenograft Model of Glioblastoma Multiforme

Department of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Technology, School of Pharmacy, Complutense University, Madrid, Spain.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.23). 01/2013; 8(1):e54795. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054795
Source: PubMed


Cannabinoids, the active components of marijuana and their derivatives, are currently investigated due to their potential therapeutic application for the management of many different diseases, including cancer. Specifically, Δ(9)-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) - the two major ingredients of marijuana - have been shown to inhibit tumor growth in a number of animal models of cancer, including glioma. Although there are several pharmaceutical preparations that permit the oral administration of THC or its analogue nabilone or the oromucosal delivery of a THC- and CBD-enriched cannabis extract, the systemic administration of cannabinoids has several limitations in part derived from the high lipophilicity exhibited by these compounds. In this work we analyzed CBD- and THC-loaded poly-ε-caprolactone microparticles as an alternative delivery system for long-term cannabinoid administration in a murine xenograft model of glioma. In vitro characterization of THC- and CBD-loaded microparticles showed that this method of microencapsulation facilitates a sustained release of the two cannabinoids for several days. Local administration of THC-, CBD- or a mixture (1∶1 w:w) of THC- and CBD-loaded microparticles every 5 days to mice bearing glioma xenografts reduced tumour growth with the same efficacy than a daily local administration of the equivalent amount of those cannabinoids in solution. Moreover, treatment with cannabinoid-loaded microparticles enhanced apoptosis and decreased cell proliferation and angiogenesis in these tumours. Our findings support that THC- and CBD-loaded microparticles could be used as an alternative method of cannabinoid delivery in anticancer therapies.

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Available from: Guillermo Velasco, Mar 11, 2014
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