All-trans retinoic acid stealth liposomes prevent the relapse of breast cancer arising from the cancer stem cells

ArticleinJournal of Controlled Release 149(3):281-91 · October 2010with33 Reads
Impact Factor: 7.71 · DOI: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2010.10.019 · Source: PubMed
  • 27.56 · Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • Peking University
  • 52.09 · Beijing Institute of Technology
  • Last Nan Li
    35.91 · Peking University Health Science Center
Abstract

The relapse of cancer is mostly due to the proliferation of cancer stem cells which could not be eliminated by a standard chemotherapy. A new kind of all-trans retinoic acid stealth liposomes was developed for preventing the relapse of breast cancer and for treating the cancer in combination with a cytotoxic agent, vinorelbine stealth liposomes. In vitro studies were performed on the human breast cancer MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells. In vivo evaluations were performed on the newly established relapse model with breast cancer stem cells. Results showed that the particle size of all-trans retinoic acid stealth liposomes was approximately 80nm, and the encapsulation efficiency was >90%. Breast cancer stem cells were identified with the CD44(+)/CD24(-) phenotype and characterized with properties: resistant to cytotoxic agent, stronger capability of proliferation, and stronger capability of differentiation. Inhibitory effect of all-trans retinoic acid stealth liposomes was more potent in cancer stem cells than in cancer cells. The mechanisms were defined to be two aspects: arresting breast cancer stem cells at the G(0)/G(1) phase in mitosis, and inducing the differentiation of breast cancer stem cells. The cancer relapse model was successfully established by xenografting breast cancer stem cells into NOD/SCID mice, and the formation and growth of the xenografted tumors were significantly inhibited by all-trans retinoic acid stealth liposomes. The combination therapy of all-trans retinoic acid stealth liposomes with vinorelbine stealth liposomes produced the strongest inhibitory effect to the relapse tumor model. It could be concluded that all-trans retinoic acid stealth liposomes could be used for preventing the relapse of breast cancer by differentiating cancer stem cells and arresting the cell-cycle, and for treating breast cancer as a co-therapy, thus providing a novel strategy for treating breast cancer and preventing relapse derived from breast cancer stem cells.