Scientific reports

Synergistic effect of a drug loaded electrospun patch and systemic chemotherapy in pancreatic cancer xenograft.

PMID 28959053


Pancreatic cancer has a high rate of local recurrence and poor prognosis even with adjuvant chemotherapy after curative resection. The aim of this study was to investigate if local drug delivery combined with low dose systemic chemotherapy can increase the therapeutic effect of chemotherapy while reducing systemic toxicities. Poly-L-lactic acid-based 5-FU releasing patch was fabricated by electrospinning, and its tumour killing effects were first confirmed in vitro. The 5-FU patch directly adhered to the tumour in subcutaneous and orthotopic murine models, and induced a significant decrease in tumour size. Systemic gemcitabine treatment group, 5-FU drug releasing patch group, and systemic gemcitabine plus 5-FU patch group were compared by tumour size measurement, non-invasive bio-imaging, and histology in subcutaneous models. Combination of local drug patch and systemic chemotherapy led to increased tumour suppression effects that lasted longer, as well as increased survival rate. Histology revealed higher degree of apoptosis in the combined group. Systemic toxicity was recovered within 7 days after the treatment in all mice. Conclusively, local drug delivery using biocompatible polymer patch significantly inhibited tumour growth, and combination with systemic chemotherapy was more effective than single systemic chemotherapy.