[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In addition to surgery, local tumor control in pediatric oncology requires new treatments as an alternative to radiotherapy. SN-38 is an anticancer drug with proved activity against several pediatric solid tumors including neuroblastoma, rhabdomyosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma. Taking advantage of the extremely low aqueous solubility of SN-38, we have developed a novel drug delivery system (DDS) consisting of matrices made of poly(lactic acid) electrospun polymer nanofibers loaded with SN-38 microcrystals for local release in difficult-to-treat pediatric solid tumors. To model the clinical scenario, we conducted extensive preclinical experiments to characterize the biodistribution of the released SN-38 using microdialysis sampling in vivo. We observed that the drug achieves high concentrations in the virtual space of the surgical bed and penetrates a maximum distance of 2 mm within the tumor bulk. Subsequently, we developed a model of subtotal tumor resection in clinically relevant pediatric patient-derived xenografts and used such models to provide evidence of the activity of the SN-38 DDS to inhibit tumor regrowth. We propose that this novel DDS could represent a potential future strategy to avoid harmful radiation therapy as a primary tumor control together with surgery.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent preclinical evidence has suggested that Ewing Sarcoma (ES) bearing EWSR1-ETS fusions could be particularly sensitive to PARP inhibitors (PARPinh) in combination with DNA damage repair (DDR) agents. Trabectedin is an antitumoral agent that modulates EWSR1-FLI1 transcriptional functions, causing DNA damage. Interestingly, PARP1 is also a transcriptional regulator of EWSR1-FLI1, and PARPinh disrupts the DDR machinery. Thus, given the impact and apparent specificity of both agents with regard to the DNA damage/DDR system and EWSR1-FLI1 activity in ES, we decided to explore the activity of combining PARPinh and Trabectedin in in vitro and in vivo experiments. The combination of Olaparib and Trabectedin was found to be highly synergistic, inhibiting cell proliferation, inducing apoptosis, and the accumulation of G2/M. The drug combination also enhanced γH2AX intranuclear accumulation as a result of DNA damage induction, DNA fragmentation and global DDR deregulation, while EWSR1-FLI1 target expression remained unaffected. The effect of the drug combination was corroborated in a mouse xenograft model of ES and, more importantly, in two ES patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models in which the tumors showed complete regression. In conclusion, the combination of the two agents leads to a biologically significant deregulation of the DDR machinery that elicits relevant antitumor activity in preclinical models and might represent a promising therapeutic tool that should be further explored for translation to the clinical setting.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To develop a reproducible microdialysis-tumor homogenate method for the study of the intratumor distribution of a highly hydrophobic anticancer drug (SN-38; 7-ethyl-10-hydroxycamptothecin) in neuroblastoma patient-derived xenografts.
We studied the nonspecific binding of SN-38 to the microdialysis tubing in the presence of 2-hydroxypropyl-beta-cyclodextrin (HPBCD) in the perfusate. We calibrated the microdialysis probes by the zero flow rate (ZFR) method and calculated the enhancement factor (f = extrapolated SN-38 concentration at the ZFR / SN-38 concentration in the dialysed solution) of HPBCD. We characterized the extravasation of HPBCD to tumors engrafted in mice. In vivo microdialysis and terminal homogenate data at the steady state (subcutaneous pump infusions) were used to calculate the volume of distribution of unbound SN-38 (Vu,tumor) in neuroblastoma.
HPBCD (10% w/v) in the perfusate prevented the nonspecific binding of SN-38 to the microdialysis probe and enhanced SN-38 recovery (f = 1.86). The extravasation of HPBCD in the tumor during microdialysis was lower than 1%. Vu,tumor values were above 3 mL/g tumor for both neuroblastoma models and suggested efficient cellular penetration of SN-38.
The method contributes to overcome the limitations of the microdialysis technique in hydrophobic drugs and provides a powerful tool to characterize compartmental anticancer drug distribution in xenografts.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Pharmaceutical Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Paediatric high grade glioma (pHGG) and diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) are highly aggressive brain tumours. Their invasive phenotype contributes to their limited therapeutic response, and novel treatments that block brain tumour invasion are needed.
Here, we examine the migratory characteristics and treatment effect of small molecule glycogen synthase kinase-3 inhibitors, lithium chloride (LiCl) and the indirubin derivative 6-bromoindirubin-oxime (BIO), previously shown to inhibit the migration of adult glioma cells, on two pHGG cell lines (SF188 and KNS42) and one patient-derived DIPG line (HSJD-DIPG-007) using 2D (transwell membrane, immunofluorescence, live cell imaging) and 3D (migration on nanofibre plates and spheroid invasion in collagen) assays.
All lines were migratory, but there were differences in morphology and migration rates. Both LiCl and BIO reduced migration and instigated cytoskeletal rearrangement of stress fibres and focal adhesions when viewed by immunofluorescence. In the presence of drugs, loss of polarity and differences in cellular movement were observed by live cell imaging.
Ours is the first study to demonstrate that it is possible to pharmacologically target migration of paediatric glioma in vitro using LiCl and BIO, and we conclude that these agents and their derivatives warrant further preclinical investigation as potential anti-migratory therapeutics for these devastating tumours.
No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · British Journal of Cancer
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:
To review the ocular pharmacology and antitumor activity of topotecan for the treatment of retinoblastoma by an evaluation of different routes of administration.
Systematic review of studies available at PubMed using the keywords retinoblastoma, topotecan, and camptothecins, including preclinical data such as cell lines and animal models, as well as clinical studies in patients with retinoblastoma.
Forty-two available studies were reviewed. Evidence of antitumor activity against retinoblastoma as a single agent is based on data on cell lines and a limited number of affected patients with intraocular and extraocular disease when given in a protracted schedule. Evidence of additive or synergistic activity in combination with other agents such as carboplatin, melphalan, and vincristine was reported in preclinical and clinical models. In animal models, pharmacokinetic evaluation of topotecan administered by the periocular route shows that most of the drug reaches the vitreous through the systemic circulation. Topotecan administered by intravitreal injection shows high and sustained vitreal concentrations with limited systemic exposure and lack of retinal toxicity at a dose of up to 5 μg. Topotecan administered intraophthalmic artery shows higher passage to the vitreous compared with periocular administration in a swine model.
Topotecan alone or in combination is active against retinoblastoma. It shows a favorable passage to the vitreous when given intravenously and intraarterially, and ocular toxicity is minimal by all routes of administration. However, its clinical role, optimal dose, and route of administration for the treatment of retinoblastoma are to be determined.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Retina (Philadelphia, Pa.)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nanotechnology has become a key tool to overcome the main (bio)pharmaceutical drawbacks of drugs and to enable their passive or active targeting to specific cells and tissues. Pediatric therapies usually rely on the previous clinical experience in adults. However, there exists scientific evidence that drug pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in children differ from those in adults. For example, the interaction of specific drugs with their target receptors undergoes changes over the maturation of the different organs and systems. A similar phenomenon is observed for toxicity and adverse effects. Thus, it is clear that the treatment of disease in children cannot be simplified to the direct adjustment of the dose to the body weight/surface. In this context, the implementation of innovative technologies (e.g., nanotechnology) in the pediatric population becomes extremely challenging. The present article overviews the different attempts to use nanotechnology to treat diseases in the pediatric population. Due to the relevance, though limited available literature on the matter, we initially describe from preliminary in vitro studies to preclinical and clinical trials aiming to treat pediatric infectious diseases and pediatric solid tumors by means of nanotechnology. Then, the perspectives of pediatric nanomedicine are discussed.
Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Advanced drug delivery reviews
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:
To report the efficacy and complications of intra-ophthalmic artery melphalan (IAM) for treatment of patients with advanced intra-ocular retinoblastoma.
Patients with newly diagnosed, unilateral, group D retinoblastoma were included in a phase II protocol. Children with relapsed-refractory disease after systemic chemoreduction were later treated under the same guidelines.Melphalan (3–5 mg/procedure) was injected through a 1.2 F microcatheter placed into the ophthalmic artery every 21 days.
Eleven patients (12 eyes, eight as primary treatment) received 33 IAM procedures. The phase II protocol closed prematurely because of low accrual. The IAM technique was overall safe and could be performed successfully in 31 of 33(94%) attempts. After the second administration of IAM, very good partial response was achieved in all treated eyes. With a median follow-up time of 29.5 months (range 6–57), ocular salvage was achieved in 7 of 12 (58%) eyes. No systemic adverse events were observed. Two patients developed diffuse arteriolar sclerosis, hyperpigmentation of the retinal pigment epithelium and partial retinal atrophy after the second IAM. Both eyes were preserved with no tumour activity, good motility and perception of light, 56 and 30 months after the last IAM treatment. Multinucleated macrophages with intracytoplasmic foreign material were found in the choroid and the retina in 2 of 5 enucleated eyes.
Our study reports the activity and reproducibility of IAM in advanced retinoblastoma but also underlines the challenges of performing prospective studies on this treatment modality. Toxicity was limited to only ocular vascular events.
Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Acta ophthalmologica
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPGs) are highly infiltrative malignant glial neoplasms of the ventral pons that, due to their location within the brain, are unsuitable for surgical resection and consequently have a universally dismal clinical outcome. The median survival time is 9–12 months, with neither chemotherapeutic nor targeted agents showing substantial survival benefit in clinical trials in children with these tumors1. We report the identification of recurrent activating mutations in the ACVR1 gene, which encodes a type I activin receptor serine/threonine kinase, in 21% of DIPG samples. Strikingly, these somatic mutations (encoding p.Arg206His, p.Arg258Gly, p.Gly328Glu, p.Gly328Val, p.Gly328Trp and p.Gly356Asp substitutions) have not been reported previously in cancer but are identical to mutations found in the germ line of individuals with the congenital childhood developmental disorder fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP)2 and have been shown to constitutively activate the BMP–TGF-β signaling pathway. These mutations represent new targets for therapeutic intervention in this otherwise incurable disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using a mouse model of ependymoma-a chemoresistant brain tumor-we combined multicell high-throughput screening (HTS), kinome-wide binding assays, and in vivo efficacy studies, to identify potential treatments with predicted toxicity against neural stem cells (NSC). We identified kinases within the insulin signaling pathway and centrosome cycle as regulators of ependymoma cell proliferation, and their corresponding inhibitors as potential therapies. FDA approved drugs not currently used to treat ependymoma were also identified that posses selective toxicity against ependymoma cells relative to normal NSCs both in vitro and in vivo, e.g., 5-fluorouracil. Our comprehensive approach advances understanding of the biology and treatment of ependymoma including the discovery of several treatment leads for immediate clinical translation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The authors demonstrated previously that the combination of topotecan (TPT) and carboplatin (CBP) was more effective than current chemotherapeutic combinations used to treat retinoblastoma in an orthotopic xenograft model. However, systemic coadministration of these agents is not ideal, because both agents cause dose-limiting myelosuppression in children.
To overcome the toxicity associated with systemic TPT and CBP, the authors explored subconjunctival delivery of TPT or CBP in an orthotopic xenograft model and in a genetic mouse model of retinoblastoma (Chx10-Cre;Rb(lox/lox);p107(-/-);p53(lox/lox)). The effects of combined subconjunctival CBP (CBP(subcon)) and systemic TPT (TPT(syst)) were compared with the effects of combined TPT(subcon) and CBP(syst.) at clinically relevant dosages.
Pharmacokinetic and tumor-response studies, including analyses of ocular and hematopoietic toxicity, revealed that CBP(subcon)/TPT(syst) was more effective and had fewer side effects than TPT(subcon)/CBP(syst).
For the first time, retinoblastoma was ablated and long-term vision was preserved in a mouse model by using a clinically relevant chemotherapy regimen. These results eventually may be translated into a clinical trial for children with this debilitating cancer.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To study the role of drug transporters in central nervous system (CNS) penetration and cellular accumulation of erlotinib and its metabolite, OSI-420.
After oral erlotinib administration to wild-type and ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter-knockout mice (Mdr1a/b(-/-), Abcg2(-/-), Mdr1a/b(-/-)Abcg2(-/-), and Abcc4(-/-)), plasma was collected and brain extracellular fluid (ECF) was sampled using intracerebral microdialysis. A pharmacokinetic model was fit to erlotinib and OSI-420 concentration-time data, and brain penetration (P(Brain)) was estimated by the ratio of ECF-to-unbound plasma area under concentration-time curves. Intracellular accumulation of erlotinib was assessed in cells overexpressing human ABC transporters or SLC22A solute carriers.
P(Brain) in wild-type mice was 0.27 ± 0.11 and 0.07 ± 0.02 (mean ± SD) for erlotinib and OSI-420, respectively. Erlotinib and OSI-420 P(Brain) in Abcg2(-/-) and Mdr1a/b(-/-)Abcg2(-/-) mice were significantly higher than in wild-type mice. Mdr1a/b(-/-) mice showed similar brain ECF penetration as wild-type mice (0.49 ± 0.37 and 0.04 ± 0.02 for erlotinib and OSI-420, respectively). In vitro, erlotinib and OSI-420 accumulation was significantly lower in cells overexpressing breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP) than in control cells. Only OSI-420, not erlotinib, showed lower accumulation in cells overexpressing P-glycoprotein (P-gp) than in control cells. The P-gp/BCRP inhibitor elacridar increased erlotinib and OSI-420 accumulation in BCRP-overexpressing cells. Erlotinib uptake was higher in OAT3- and OCT2-transfected cells than in empty vector control cells.
Abcg2 is the main efflux transporter preventing erlotinib and OSI-420 penetration in mouse brain. Erlotinib and OSI-420 are substrates for SLC22A family members OAT3 and OCT2. Our findings provide a mechanistic basis for erlotinib CNS penetration, cellular uptake, and efflux mechanisms.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2010 · Clinical Cancer Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gefitinib, an epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor, increases brain parenchymal extracellular fluid (ECF) accumulation of topotecan, a substrate of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters P-glycoprotein (Pgp/MDR-1) and breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP/ABCG2). The effect of modulating these transporters on topotecan penetration in gliomas has not been thoroughly studied. Thus, we performed intracerebral microdialysis on mice bearing orthotopic human gliomas (U87 and MT330) and assessed topotecan tumor ECF (tECF) penetration and the effect of gefitinib on topotecan tECF penetration and intratumor topotecan distribution. We found that topotecan penetration (P(tumor)) of U87 was 0.96 +/- 0.25 (n = 7) compared with that of contralateral brain (P(contralateral), 0.42 +/- 0.11, n = 5; P = 0.001). In MT330 tumors, P(tumor) (0.78 +/- 0.26, n = 6) and P(contralateral) (0.42 +/- 0.11, n = 5) also differed significantly (P = 0.013). Because both tumor models had disrupted blood-brain barriers and similar P(tumor) values, we used U87 and a steady-state drug administration approach to characterize the effect of gefitinib on topotecan P(tumor). At equivalent plasma topotecan exposures, we found that P(tumor) after gefitinib administration was lower. In a separate cohort of animals, we determined the volume of distribution of unbound topotecan in tumor (V(u,tumor)) and found that it was significantly higher in groups receiving gefitinib, implying that gefitinib administration leads to a greater proportion of intracellular topotecan. Our results provide crucial insights into the role that transporters play in central nervous system drug penetration and provide a better understanding of the effect of coadministration of transporter modulators on anticancer drug distribution within a tumor.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously reported that administration of a single dose of gabapentin (GBP) immediately after training improves memory of mice in an inhibitory avoidance task (IA), whereas GBP administered repeatedly for 7 days impairs memory. This is in accordance with the observation that long-term clinical treatment with GBP may be associated with adverse cognitive side effects. In the present work we used a GBP-loaded poly(epsilon-caprolactone) implant, allowing controlled release of the drug and maintenance of constant plasma levels over 1 week. When GBP-loaded implants were inserted subcutaneously into mice, immediately after training in the IA task, memory consolidation was enhanced. Moreover, GBP released from implants had an anticonvulsant action against pentylenetetrazole-induced seizures. These results suggest that maintenance of stable GBP plasma levels could protect against seizures without causing memory impairment. Hence, the adverse cognitive effects might be avoided by stabilizing plasma levels of the drug.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2010 · Epilepsy & Behavior
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Drug low solubility and stability in physiological environment constitutes a main hurdle in attaining the appropriate bioavailability. Several polymer-based nanotechnologies are being intended in order to optimize the technological (e.g., solubility, stability, bioavailability, etc.) aspects of drugs. Among them, polymeric nanoparticles, dendrimers, polymeric micelles and polymersomes appear as the most attractive and promising. Concomitant with efforts in the academic arena that aim at overcoming these drawbacks and, strongly motivated by a constant search for innovative therapeutic strategies, a very rich intellectual property has been produced in the last years. This phenomenon has been moved forward by the fact that aiming at registering off-patent or about to be off patent products, pharmaceutical companies develop new formulations of old products. Another ambit of research is the design of more sophisticated drug delivery devices (e.g., targeting, localized delivery) in order to minimize adverse effects that make the administration of certain drugs risky or to enhance the patient compliance. A recent report by Cientifica Ltd. foresees a critical expansion in the nano-based drug delivery market from its current $3.4B (about 10% of the total drug delivery market) to about $26B by 2012, being this only a promising beginning for the $220B forecasted by 2015. Given the present circumstances, we are probably witnessing a new revolution in therapeutics that will take treatment to a different dimension. The goal of the present review is to provide a comprehensive and updated patent compilation of the most recent inventions relying on polymer-based nanoparticulated carriers (polymeric nanoparticles, dendrimers, polymeric micellles and polymersomes) for the optimization of the technological aspects of therapeutic agents. This article also includes a thorough review of the patents made public in recent years (2003-2007).
Full-text · Article · Jan 2010 · Recent Patents on Biomedical Engineering
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tuberculosis (TB) is the second most deadly infectious disease. Despite potentially curative pharmacotherapies being available for over 50 years, the length of the treatment and the pill burden can hamper patient lifestyle. Thus, low compliance and adherence to administration schedules remain the main reasons for therapeutic failure and contribute to the development of multi-drug-resistant (MDR) strains. Pediatric patients constitute a high risk population. Most of the first-line drugs are not commercially available in pediatric form. The design of novel antibiotics attempts to overcome drug resistance, to shorten the treatment course and to reduce drug interactions with antiretroviral therapies. On the other hand, the existing anti-TB drugs are still effective. Overcoming technological drawbacks of these therapeutic agents as well as improving the effectiveness of the drug by targeting the infection reservoirs remains the central aims of Pharmaceutical Technology. In this framework, nanotechnologies appear as one of the most promising approaches for the development of more effective and compliant medicines. The present review thoroughly overviews the state-of-the-art in the development of nano-based drug delivery systems for encapsulation and release of anti-TB drugs and discusses the challenges that are faced in the development of a more effective, compliant and also affordable TB pharmacotherapy.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2009 · Advanced drug delivery reviews