Neuroblastoma is a childhood cancer with poor long-term prognosis in advanced stages. A major aim in neuroblastoma therapy is to develop targeted drug delivery systems to ameliorate drug therapeutic index and efficacy. In this study, a novel bortezomib (BTZ) liposomal formulation was set-up and characterized. Since BTZ is freely permeable across the lipidic bilayer, an amino-lactose (LM) was synthesized as complexing agent to entrap BTZ inside the internal aqueous compartment of stealth liposomes. High encapsulation efficiency was achieved by a loading method based on the formation of boronic esters between the boronic acid moiety of BTZ and the hydroxyl groups of LM. Next, NGR peptides were linked to the liposome surface as a targeting-ligand for the tumor endothelial cell marker, aminopeptidase N. Liposomes were characterized for size, Z-potential, polydispersity index, drug content, and release. Lyophilization in the presence of cryoprotectants (trehalose, sucrose) was also examined in terms of particle size changes and drug leakage. BTZ was successfully loaded into non-targeted (SL[LM-BTZ]) and targeted (NGR-SL[LM-BTZ]) liposomes with an entrapment efficiency of about 68% and 57%, respectively. These nanoparticles were suitable for intravenous administration, presenting an average diameter of 170 nm and narrow polydispersity. Therefore, orthotopic NBbearing mice were treated with 1.0 or 1.5 mg/kg of BTZ, either in free form or encapsulated into liposomes. BTZ loaded liposomes showed a significant reduction of drug systemic adverse effects with respect to free drug, even at the highest dose tested.Moreover, mice treated with 1.5mg/kg of NGR-SL[LM-BTZ] lived statistically longer than untreated mice (P=0.0018) and SL[LM-BTZ]-treated mice (P=0.0256). Our results demonstrate that the novel vascular targeted BTZ formulation is endowed with high therapeutic index and low toxicity, providing a new tool for future applications in neuroblastoma clinical studies.

Tumor vascular targeted liposomal-bortezomib minimizes side effects and increases therapeutic activity in human neuroblastoma

Zuccari, Guendalina;MARCHETTI, CHIARA;Emionite, Laura;Piaggio, Francesca;
2015

Abstract

Neuroblastoma is a childhood cancer with poor long-term prognosis in advanced stages. A major aim in neuroblastoma therapy is to develop targeted drug delivery systems to ameliorate drug therapeutic index and efficacy. In this study, a novel bortezomib (BTZ) liposomal formulation was set-up and characterized. Since BTZ is freely permeable across the lipidic bilayer, an amino-lactose (LM) was synthesized as complexing agent to entrap BTZ inside the internal aqueous compartment of stealth liposomes. High encapsulation efficiency was achieved by a loading method based on the formation of boronic esters between the boronic acid moiety of BTZ and the hydroxyl groups of LM. Next, NGR peptides were linked to the liposome surface as a targeting-ligand for the tumor endothelial cell marker, aminopeptidase N. Liposomes were characterized for size, Z-potential, polydispersity index, drug content, and release. Lyophilization in the presence of cryoprotectants (trehalose, sucrose) was also examined in terms of particle size changes and drug leakage. BTZ was successfully loaded into non-targeted (SL[LM-BTZ]) and targeted (NGR-SL[LM-BTZ]) liposomes with an entrapment efficiency of about 68% and 57%, respectively. These nanoparticles were suitable for intravenous administration, presenting an average diameter of 170 nm and narrow polydispersity. Therefore, orthotopic NBbearing mice were treated with 1.0 or 1.5 mg/kg of BTZ, either in free form or encapsulated into liposomes. BTZ loaded liposomes showed a significant reduction of drug systemic adverse effects with respect to free drug, even at the highest dose tested.Moreover, mice treated with 1.5mg/kg of NGR-SL[LM-BTZ] lived statistically longer than untreated mice (P=0.0018) and SL[LM-BTZ]-treated mice (P=0.0256). Our results demonstrate that the novel vascular targeted BTZ formulation is endowed with high therapeutic index and low toxicity, providing a new tool for future applications in neuroblastoma clinical studies.
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