Synthesis, characterization, and evaluation of mPEG-SN38 and mPEG-PLA-SN38 micelles for cancer therapy.

Xie J, Zhang X, Teng M, Yu B, Yang S, Lee RJ, Teng L
Int J Nanomedicine 11 1677-86 01/01/2016


7-Ethyl-10-hydroxy camptothecin (SN38) is a potent topoisomerase inhibitor and a metabolite of irinotecan. Its clinical development has been hampered by its poor solubility. To address this problem, methoxy poly(ethylene glycol)-2000 (mPEG2K)-SN38 and mPEG2K-poly(lactide) (PLA1.5K)-SN38 conjugates were prepared and then dispersed into an aqueous medium to form micelles. Physicochemical characteristics of SN38-polymer conjugate micelles, for example, micelle diameter, zeta potential, morphology, and drug content, were then evaluated. The results showed that the mean diameters of mPEG2K-SN38 and mPEG2K-PLA1.5K-SN38 micelles were ~130 and 20 nm, respectively. These two micelles had similar drug contents. mPEG2K-PLA1.5K-SN38 micelles were more homogeneous than mPEG2K-SN38 micelles. Moreover, in vitro drug release behavior of the micelles was studied by high performance liquid chromatography. SN38 release from mPEG2K-SN38 micelles was much faster than from mPEG2K-PLA1.5K-SN38 micelles. In vitro cytotoxicity, cellular uptake, and apoptosis assays of the SN38-polymer conjugate micelles were carried out on BEL-7402 human liver cancer cells. In vivo biodistribution and antitumor tumor efficacy studies were carried out in a nude mouse xenograft model derived from BEL-7402 cells. The results showed that mPEG2K-PLA1.5K-SN38 micelles were significantly more effective than mPEG2K-SN38 micelles in tumor inhibition, and the inhibitory effect of mPEG2K-PLA1.5K-SN38 micelles on tumor growth was significantly greater than that of mPEG2K-SN38 micelles (1,042 vs 1,837 mm) at 30 days. In conclusion, mPEG-PLA-SN38 is a promising anticancer agent that warrants further investigation.

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