Decreased non-specific adhesivity, receptor targeted (DART) nanoparticles exhibit improved dispersion, cellular uptake, and tumor retention in invasive gliomas.
ABSTRACT: The most common and deadly form of primary brain cancer, glioblastoma (GBM), is characterized by significant intratumoral heterogeneity, microvascular proliferation, immune system suppression, and brain tissue invasion. Delivering effective and sustained treatments to the invasive GBM cells intermixed with functioning neural elements is a major goal of advanced therapeutic systems for brain cancer. Previously, we investigated the nanoparticle characteristics that enable targeting of invasive GBM cells. This revealed the importance of minimizing non-specific binding within the relatively adhesive, 'sticky' microenvironment of the brain and brain tumors in particular. We refer to such nanoformulations with decreased non-specific adhesivity and receptor targeting as 'DART' therapeutics. In this work, we applied this information toward the design and characterization of biodegradable nanocarriers, and in vivo testing in orthotopic experimental gliomas. We formulated particulate nanocarriers using poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) and PLGA-polyethylene glycol (PLGA-PEG) polymers to generate sub-100nm nanoparticles with minimal binding to extracellular brain components and strong binding to the Fn14 receptor - an upregulated, conserved component in invasive GBM. Multiple particle tracking in brain tissue slices and in vivo testing in orthotopic murine malignant glioma revealed preserved nanoparticle diffusivity and increased uptake in brain tumor cells. These combined characteristics also resulted in longer retention of the DART nanoparticles within the orthotopic tumors compared to non-targeted versions. Taken together, these results and nanoparticle design considerations offer promising new methods to optimize therapeutic nanocarriers for improving drug delivery and treatment for invasive brain tumors.
Project description:Development of effective tumor cell-targeted nanodrug formulations has been quite challenging, as many nanocarriers and targeting moieties exhibit nonspecific binding to cellular, extracellular, and intravascular components. We have developed a therapeutic nanoparticle formulation approach that balances cell surface receptor-specific binding affinity while maintaining minimal interactions with blood and tumor tissue components (termed "DART" nanoparticles), thereby improving blood circulation time, biodistribution, and tumor cell-specific uptake. Here, we report that paclitaxel (PTX)-DART nanoparticles directed to the cell surface receptor fibroblast growth factor-inducible 14 (Fn14) outperformed both the corresponding PTX-loaded, nontargeted nanoparticles and Abraxane, an FDA-approved PTX nanoformulation, in both a primary triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) model and an intracranial model reflecting TNBC growth following metastatic dissemination to the brain. These results provide new insights into methods for effective development of therapeutic nanoparticles as well as support the continued development of the DART platform for primary and metastatic tumors.
Project description:Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a common, usually lethal disease with a median survival of only ~15 months. It has proven resistant in clinical trials to chemotherapeutic agents such as paclitaxel that are highly effective in vitro, presumably because of impaired drug delivery across the tumor's blood-brain barrier (BBB). In an effort to increase paclitaxel delivery across the tumor BBB, we linked the drug to a novel filomicelle nanocarrier made with biodegradable poly(ethylene-glycol)-block-poly(?-caprolactone-r-D,L-lactide) and used precisely collimated radiation therapy (RT) to disrupt the tumor BBB's permeability in an orthotopic mouse model of GBM. Using a non-invasive bioluminescent imaging technique to assess tumor burden and response to therapy in our model, we demonstrated that the drug-loaded nanocarrier (DLN) alone was ineffective against stereotactically implanted intracranial tumors yet was highly effective against GBM cells in culture and in tumors implanted into the flanks of mice. When targeted cranial RT was used to modulate the tumor BBB, the paclitaxel-loaded nanocarriers became effective against the intracranial tumors. Focused cranial RT improved DLN delivery into the intracranial tumors, significantly improving therapeutic outcomes. Tumor growth was delayed or halted, and survival was extended by >50% (p less than 0.05) compared to the results obtained with either RT or the DLN alone. Combinations of RT and chemotherapeutic agents linked to nanocarriers would appear to be an area for future investigations that could enhance outcomes in the treatment of human GBM.
Project description:The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is necessary for maintaining brain homeostasis, but it also represents a major challenge for drug delivery to the brain tumors. A suitable in vivo Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) model is needed for efficient testing of BBB crossable pharmaceuticals. In this study, we firstly confirmed the BBB functionality in 3dpf zebrafish embryos by Lucifer Yellow, Evans Blue and DAPI microinjection. We then transplanted human GBM tumor cells into the zebrafish brain, in which implanted GBM cells (U87 and U251) were highly mitotic and invasive, mimicking their malignancy features in rodents' brain. Interestingly, we found that, although extensive endothelial proliferation and vessel dilation were observed in GBM xenografts, the BBB was still not disturbed. Next, using the zebrafish orthotopic GBM xenograft model as an in vivo visual readout, we successfully identified a promising small compound named TNB, which could efficiently cross the zebrafish BBB and inhibit the progression of orthotopic GBM xenografts. These results indicate that TNB is a promising BBB crossable GBM drug worth to be further characterized in human BBB setting, also suggest the zebrafish orthotopic GBM model as an efficient visual readout for the BBB penetrating anti-GBM drugs.
Project description:Glioblastoma (GBM) therapy is highly challenging, as the tumors are very aggressive due to infiltration into the surrounding normal brain tissue. Even a combination of the available therapeutic regimens may not debulk the tumor completely. GBM tumors are also known for recurrence, resulting in survival rates averaging <18 months. In addition, systemic chemotherapy for GBM has been challenged for its minimal desired therapeutic effects and unwanted side effects.We hypothesized that paclitaxel (PTX) and superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO)-loaded PEGylated poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA)-based nanoparticles (NPs; PTX/SPIO-NPs) can serve as an effective nanocarrier system for magnetic targeting purposes, and we aimed to demonstrate the therapeutic efficacy of this system in an orthotopic murine GBM model.PTX/SPIO-NPs were prepared by emulsion-diffusion-evaporation method and characterized for physicochemical properties. In vitro cellular uptake of PTX/SPIO-NPs was evaluated by fluorescence microscopy and Prussian blue staining. Orthotopic U87MG tumor model was used to evaluate blood-brain barrier disruption using T1 contrast agent, ex vivo biodistribution, in vivo toxicity and in vivo antitumor efficacy of PTX/SPIO-NPs.PTX/SPIO-NPs were in the size of 250 nm with negative zeta potential. Qualitative cellular uptake studies showed that the internalization of NPs was concentration dependent. Through magnetic resonance imaging, we observed that the blood-brain barrier was disrupted in the GBM area. An ex vivo biodistribution study showed enhanced accumulation of NPs in the brain of GBM-bearing mice with magnetic targeting. Short-term in vivo safety evaluation showed that the NPs did not induce any systemic toxicity compared with Taxol® (PTX). When tested for in vivo efficacy, the magnetic targeting treatment significantly prolonged the median survival time compared with the passive targeting and control treatments.Overall, PTX/SPIO-NPs with magnetic targeting could be considered as an effective anticancer targeting strategy for GBM chemotherapy.
Project description:The cellular reprogramming factor LIN28A promotes tumorigenicity in cancers arising outside the central nervous system, but its role in brain tumors is unknown. We detected LIN28A protein in a subset of human gliomas observed higher expression in glioblastoma (GBM) than in lower grade tumors. Knockdown of LIN28A using lentiviral shRNA in GBM cell lines inhibited their invasion, growth and clonogenicity. Expression of LIN28A in GBM cell lines increased the number and size of orthotopic xenograft tumors. LIN28A expression also enhanced the invasiveness of GBM cells in vitro and in vivo. Increasing LIN28A was associated with down-regulation of tumor suppressing microRNAs let-7b and let-7g and up-regulation of the chromatin modifying protein HMGA2. The increase in tumor cell aggressiveness in vivo and in vitro was accompanied by an upregulation of pro-invasive gene expression, including SNAI1. To further investigate the oncogenic potential of LIN28A, we infected hNSC with lentiviruses encoding LIN28A together with dominant negative R248W-TP53, constitutively active KRAS and hTERT. Resulting subclones proliferated at an increased rate and formed invasive GBM-like tumors in orthotopic xenografts in immunodeficient mice. Similar to LIN28A-transduced GBM neurosphere lines, hNSC-derived tumor cells showed increased expression of HMGA2. Taken together, these data suggest a role for LIN28A in high grade gliomas and illustrate an HMGA2-associated, pro-invasive program that can be activated in GBM by LIN28A-mediated suppression of let-7 microRNAs.
Project description:Glioblastoma (GBM) recurrence after treatment is almost inevitable but addressing this issue with adequate preclinical models has remained challenging. Here, we introduce a GBM mouse model allowing non-invasive and scalable de-bulking of a tumor mass located deeply in the brain, which can be combined with conventional therapeutic approaches. Strong reduction of the GBM volume is achieved after pharmacologically inducing a tumor-specific cell death mechanism. This is followed by GBM re-growth over a predictable timeframe. Pharmacological de-bulking followed by tumor relapse was accomplished with an orthotopic mouse glioma model. Relapsing experimental tumors recapitulated pathological features often observed in recurrent human GBM, like increased invasiveness or altered immune cell composition. Orthotopic implantation of GBM cells originating from biopsies of one patient at initial or follow-up treatment reproduced these findings. Interestingly, relapsing GBM of both models contained a much higher ratio of monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) versus microglia than primary GBM. This was not altered when combining pharmacological de-bulking with invasive surgery. We interpret that factors released from viable primary GBM cells preferentially attract microglia whereas relapsing tumors preponderantly release chemoattractants for MDM. All in all, this relapse model has the capacity to provide novel insights into clinically highly relevant aspects of GBM treatment.
Project description:A consequence of the intratumor heterogeneity (ITH) of glioblastoma (GBM) is the susceptibility to treatment-driven evolution. To determine the potential of radiotherapy to influence GBM evolution, we used orthotopic xenografts initiated from CD133<sup>+</sup> GBM stem-like cells (GSC). Toward this end, orthotopic xenografts grown in nude mice were exposed to a fractionated radiation protocol, which resulted in a significant increase in animal survival. Brain tumors from control and irradiated mice were then collected at morbidity and compared in terms of growth pattern, clonal diversity, and genomic architecture. In mice that received fractionated radiation, tumors were less invasive, with more clearly demarcated borders and tumor core hypercellularity as compared with controls, suggesting a fundamental change in tumor biology. Viral integration site analysis indicated a reduction in clonal diversity in the irradiated tumors, implying a decrease in ITH. Changes in clonal diversity were not detected after irradiation of GSCs <i>in vitro</i>, suggesting that the radiation-induced reduction in ITH was dependent on the brain microenvironment. Whole-exome sequencing revealed differences in mutation patterns between control and irradiated tumors, which included modifications in the presence and clonality of driver mutations associated with GBM. Moreover, changes in the distribution of mutations as a function of subpopulation size between control and irradiated tumors were consistent with subclone expansion and contraction, that is, subpopulation evolution. Taken together, these results indicate that radiation drives the evolution of the GSC-initiated orthotopic xenografts and suggest that radiation-driven evolution may have therapeutic implications for recurrent GBM. SIGNIFICANCE: Radiation drives the evolution of glioblastoma orthotopic xenografts; when translated to the clinic, this may have therapeutic implications for recurrent tumors.
Project description:Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common malignant brain tumor in adults. We designed an adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector for intracranial delivery of secreted, soluble tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (sTRAIL) to GBM tumors in mice and combined it with the TRAIL-sensitizing cardiac glycoside, lanatoside C (lan C). We applied this combined therapy to two different GBM models using human U87 glioma cells and primary patient-derived GBM neural spheres in culture and in orthotopic GBM xenograft models in mice. In U87 cells, conditioned medium from AAV2-sTRAIL expressing cells combined with lan C induced 80% cell death. Similarly, lan C sensitized primary GBM spheres to sTRAIL causing over 90% cell death. In mice bearing intracranial U87 tumors treated with AAVrh.8-sTRAIL, administration of lan C caused a decrease in tumor-associated Fluc signal, while tumor size increased within days of stopping the treatment. Another round of lan C treatment re-sensitized GBM tumor to sTRAIL-induced cell death. AAVrh.8-sTRAIL treatment alone and combined with lanatoside C resulted in a significant decrease in tumor growth and longer survival of mice bearing orthotopic invasive GBM brain tumors. In summary, AAV-sTRAIL combined with lanatoside C induced cell death in U87 glioma cells and patient-derived GBM neural spheres in culture and in vivo leading to an increased in overall mice survival.
Project description:Despite significant efforts to improve glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) treatment, GBM remains one of the most lethal cancers. Effective GBM treatments require sensitive intraoperative tumor visualization and effective postoperative chemotherapeutic delivery. Unfortunately, the diffusive and infiltrating nature of GBM limits the detection of GBM tumors, and current intraoperative visualization methods limit complete tumor resection. In addition, although chemotherapy is often used to eliminate any cancerous tissue remaining after surgery, most chemotherapeutic drugs do not effectively cross the brain-blood barrier (BBB) or enter GBM tumors. As a result, GBM has limited treatment options with high recurrence rates, and methods that improve its complete visualization during surgery and treatment are needed. Herein, we report a fluorescent nanoparticle platform for the near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF)-based tumor boundary visualization and image-guided drug delivery into GBM tumors. Our nanoplatform is based on ferumoxytol (FMX), an FDA-approved magnetic resonance imaging-sensitive superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle, which is conjugated with hepthamethine cyanine (HMC), a NIRF ligand that specifically targets the organic anion transporter polypeptides that are overexpressed in GBM. We have shown that HMC-FMX nanoparticles cross the BBB and selectively accumulate in the tumor using orthotopic GBM mouse models, enabling NIRF-based visualization of infiltrating tumor tissue. In addition, HMC-FMX can encapsulate chemotherapeutic drugs, such as paclitaxel or cisplatin, and deliver these agents into GBM tumors, reducing tumor size and increasing survival. Taken together, these observations indicate that HMC-FMX is a promising nanoprobe for GBM surgical visualization and drug delivery.
Project description:Near-infrared photoimmunotherapy (NIR-PIT), which employs monoclonal antibody (mAb)-phototoxic phthalocyanine dye IR700 conjugates, permits the specific, image-guided and spatiotemporally controlled elimination of tumor cells. Here, we report the highly efficient NIR-PIT of human tumor xenografts initiated from patient-derived cancer stem cells (CSCs). Using glioblastoma stem cells (GBM-SCs) expressing the prototypic CSC marker AC133/CD133, we also demonstrate here for the first time that NIR-PIT is highly effective against brain tumors. The intravenously injected theranostic AC133 mAb conjugate enabled the non-invasive detection of orthotopic gliomas by NIR fluorescence imaging, and reached AC133+ GBM-SCs at the invasive tumor front. AC133-targeted NIR-PIT induced the rapid cell death of AC133+ GBM-SCs and thereby strong shrinkage of both subcutaneous and invasively growing brain tumors. A single round of NIR-PIT extended the overall survival of mice with established orthotopic gliomas by more than a factor of two, even though the harmless NIR light was applied through the intact skull. Humanised versions of this theranostic agent may facilitate intraoperative imaging and histopathological evaluation of tumor borders and enable the highly specific and efficient eradication of CSCs.