(496a) Tumor-Penetrating Aerosol Nanocomposite Microparticles for the Treatment of Lung Cancer | AIChE

(496a) Tumor-Penetrating Aerosol Nanocomposite Microparticles for the Treatment of Lung Cancer


Torrico-Guzmán, E. A. - Presenter, University of Rhode Island
Meenach, S., University of Rhode Island
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, representing more than one-quarter of all cancer-related deaths. It is estimated that there will be 427 deaths per day due to lung and bronchus cancers in 2017. The five-year relative survival is currently 18%, because most of the cases are diagnosed at a late stage, for which the 5-year survival is 4% [1]. Despite the advances in cancer treatment over the past 40 years, the survival rates for lung cancer patients still remains devastatingly low. Therefore, there is an unmet need for the development of more effective forms of treatment for lung cancer.

A chemotherapeutic treatment commonly applied for lung cancer is intravenous (I.V.) paclitaxel (PTX) in the form of Taxol. In general, I.V. therapy can exert negative systemic side effects in route to its destination via the bloodstream, which spurs the need for improved delivery techniques. Aerosols have been successfully used for the treatment of pulmonary diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and the first use of aerosolized chemotherapy was reported in 1968 [2]. The advantages of using aerosol treatment include better targeting to the lungs and reduced systemic side effects [3].

Cancer cells tend to form solid tumors that are characterized for having hypoxic cells and a necrotic core, which gives them high resistance to treatment. One reason for the failure of cancer treatments is the low concentration of drug in tumors due to distance and limited access [4]. Recently, it was identified that for cancerous tissues that overexpress αv integrins can take advantage of the tumor-homing and penetrating peptide iRGD (CRGDKGPDC) as a targeting moiety to integrins helps to overcome the penetration limitations into these tumors via targeting and tumor penetration [5].

In this project we have developed a dry powder nanocomposite microparticle (nCmP) aerosol containing PTX-loaded nanoparticles synthesized with a biodegradable polymer, acetalated dextran (Ac-Dex). The byproducts of the degradation of Ac-Dex are harmless to the body and results in controlled release of therapeutic agents under acidic conditions as seen in tumor tissues [6]. In addition to the drug, a tumor-penetrating peptide (iRDG) was co-administered to help the targeting and penetration into the inner layers of solid tumors. Finally, we formulated nCmP in mannitol via spray drying. The physicochemical properties of the nano- and microparticles (size, charge, drug loading) were evaluated. The effectiveness of the complex drug produced was tested in lung cancer cells (A459 lung adenocarcinoma) in two-dimensional (2D) cell culture, which was followed by three-dimensional (3D) cell culture studies that reflect many of the properties of solid tumors and mimic better all the barriers to drug diffusion, transport and distribution in tumors [4, 7]. Overall, the system shows promise in the improved delivery of chemotherapeutic agents to the lungs and allows for a more effective treatment of lung cancer.

Keywords—lung cancer, nanoparticles, microparticles, dry powder aerosol, paclitaxel, tumor-penetration.


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