International journal of pharmaceutics

Construction of a two-in-one liposomal system (TWOLips) for tumor-targeted combination therapy.

PMID 25300591


In oncology, there is a growing need for simpler, more selective methods to deliver drug therapies directly to the tumor site. For combination therapies, simultaneous targeted delivery of multiple drugs would represent a significant improvement. In contrast to previous work that took a de novo approach, we constructed a novel two-in-one liposomal system (TWOLips) from two single drug-loaded liposomes. Our results demonstrated that TWOLips could be prepared by a simple process, through silica coating of one liposome and incubation with the second liposome. TWOLips had a mean diameter of 100 nm, relatively high drug loading rates (96.8%±0.9% for doxorubicin and 78.4%±1.2% for combretastatin), and high storage stability. TWOLips modification by adding a targeting moiety, an all D-amino acid peptide derived from a natural vascular endothelial growth factor, resulted in strong, selective binding to vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2, a tumorigenesis marker, in vitro and in vivo. TWOLips significantly inhibited tumor growth and angiogenesis and enhanced survival in mice with A375 melanoma xenografts. The TWOLips system had a low potential risk of toxicity. Since the stepwise assembly could be carried further (additional drug-loaded liposomes), TWOLips shows potential as a treatment for many cancers, especially those that require multiple drugs.