A Liposomal Drug Platform Overrides Peptide Ligand Targeting to a Cancer Biomarker, Irrespective of Ligand Affinity or DensityReport as inadecuate

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One method for improving cancer treatment is the use of nanoparticle drugs functionalized with targeting ligands that recognize receptors expressed selectively by tumor cells. In theory such targeting ligands should specifically deliver the nanoparticle drug to the tumor, increasing drug concentration in the tumor and delivering the drug to its site of action within the tumor tissue. However, the leaky vasculature of tumors combined with a poor lymphatic system allows the passive accumulation, and subsequent retention, of nanosized materials in tumors. Furthermore, a large nanoparticle size may impede tumor penetration. As such, the role of active targeting in nanoparticle delivery is controversial, and it is difficult to predict how a targeted nanoparticle drug will behave in vivo. Here we report in vivo studies for αvβ6-specific H2009.1 peptide targeted liposomal doxorubicin, which increased liposomal delivery and toxicity to lung cancer cells in vitro. We systematically varied ligand affinity, ligand density, ligand stability, liposome dosage, and tumor models to assess the role of active targeting of liposomes to αvβ6. In direct contrast to the in vitro results, we demonstrate no difference in in vivo targeting or efficacy for H2009.1 tetrameric peptide liposomal doxorubicin, compared to control peptide and no peptide liposomes. Examining liposome accumulation and distribution within the tumor demonstrates that the liposome, and not the H2009.1 peptide, drives tumor accumulation, and that both targeted H2009.1 and untargeted liposomes remain in perivascular regions, with little tumor penetration. Thus H2009.1 targeted liposomes fail to improve drug efficacy because the liposome drug platform prevents the H2009.1 peptide from both actively targeting the tumor and binding to tumor cells throughout the tumor tissue. Therefore, using a high affinity and high specificity ligand targeting an over-expressed tumor biomarker does not guarantee enhanced efficacy of a liposomal drug. These results highlight the complexity of in vivo targeting.

Author: Bethany Powell Gray, Michael J. McGuire, Kathlynn C. Brown

Source: http://plos.srce.hr/


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