Nanoparticle-mediated delivery of a rapidly activatable prodrug of SN-38 for neuroblastoma therapy.

PMID 25770994


Nanomedicine-based strategies have the potential to improve therapeutic performance of a wide range of anticancer agents. However, the successful implementation of nanoparticulate delivery systems requires the development of adequately sized nanocarriers delivering their therapeutic cargo to the target in a protected, pharmacologically active form. The present studies focused on a novel nanocarrier-based formulation strategy for SN-38, a topoisomerase I inhibitor with proven anticancer potential, whose clinical application is compromised by toxicity, poor stability and incompatibility with conventional delivery vehicles. SN-38 encapsulated in biodegradable sub-100 nm sized nanoparticles (NP) in the form of its rapidly activatable prodrug derivative with tocopherol succinate potently inhibited the growth of neuroblastoma cells in a dose- and exposure time-dependent manner, exhibiting a delayed response pattern distinct from that of free SN-38. In a xenograft model of neuroblastoma, prodrug-loaded NP caused rapid regression of established large tumors, significantly delayed tumor regrowth after treatment cessation and markedly extended animal survival. The NP formulation strategy enabled by a reversible chemical modification of the drug molecule offers a viable means for SN-38 delivery achieving sustained intratumoral drug levels and contributing to the potency and extended duration of antitumor activity, both prerequisites for effective treatment of neuroblastoma and other cancers.