Pharmaceutical research

Gemcitabine treatment of rat soft tissue sarcoma with phosphatidyldiglycerol-based thermosensitive liposomes.

PMID 24599802


The pyrimidine analogue gemcitabine (dFdC) is frequently used in the treatment of patients with solid tumors. However, after i.v. application dFdC is rapidly inactivated by metabolization. Here, the potential of thermosensitive liposomes based on 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphodiglycerol (DPPG2-TSL) were investigated as carrier and targeting system for delivery of dFdC in combination with local hyperthermia (HT). DPPG2-TSL were prepared by the lipid film hydration and extrusion method and characterized by dynamic light scattering, thin layer chromatography, phosphate assay and HPLC. In vivo experiments were performed in Brown Norway rats with a syngeneic soft tissue sarcoma. Local HT treatment was performed by light exposure. DPPG2-TSL were stable at 37°C in serum and showed a temperature dependent dFdC release >40°C. Plasma half-life of dFdC was strongly increased from 0.07xa0h (non-liposomal) to 0.53xa0h (liposomal, vesicle size 105xa0nm) or 2.59xa0h (liposomal, 129xa0nm). Therapy of BN175 tumors with dFdC encapsulated in DPPG2-TSL + HT showed significant improvement in tumor growth delay compared to non-liposomal dFdC without HT (p < 0.05), non-liposomal dFdC with HT (p < 0.01), and liposomal dFdC without HT (p < 0.05), respectively. Gemcitabine encapsulated in DPPG2-TSL in combination with local HT is a promising tool for the treatment of solid tumors. Therefore, these encouraging results ask for further investigation and evaluation.