Cancer research

Ultrasound-targeted microbubble destruction to deliver siRNA cancer therapy.

PMID 23010078


Microbubble contrast agents can specifically deliver nucleic acids to target tissues when exposed to ultrasound treatment parameters that mediate microbubble destruction. In this study, we evaluated whether microbubbles and ultrasound-targeted microbubble destruction (UTMD) could be used to enhance delivery of EGF receptor (EGFR)-directed siRNA to murine squamous cell carcinomas. Custom-designed microbubbles efficiently bound siRNA and mediated RNAse protection. UTMD-mediated delivery of microbubbles loaded with EGFR-directed siRNA to murine squamous carcinoma cells in vitro reduced EGFR expression and EGF-dependent growth, relative to delivery of control siRNA. Similarly, serial UTMD-mediated delivery of EGFR siRNA to squamous cell carcinoma in vivo decreased EGFR expression and increased tumor doubling time, relative to controls receiving EGFR siRNA-loaded microbubbles but not ultrasound or control siRNA-loaded microbubbles and UTMD. Taken together, our results offer a preclinical proof-of-concept for customized microbubbles and UTMD to deliver gene-targeted siRNA for cancer therapy.