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Co-delivery of doxorubicin and 131I by thermosensitive micellar-hydrogel for enhanced in situ synergetic chemoradiotherapy

Huang, Pingsheng, Zhang, Yumin, Wang, Weiwei, Zhou, Junhui, Sun, Yu, Liu, Jinjian, Kong, Deling, Liu, Jianfeng, Dong, Anjie
Journal of Controlled Release 2015 v.220 pp. 456-464
adverse effects, antineoplastic activity, body temperature, composite polymers, doxorubicin, drug therapy, growth retardation, histopathology, hyaluronic acid, hydrogels, irradiation, isotopes, mice, micelles, models, neoplasm cells, radionuclides, subcutaneous injection
Combined chemoradiotherapy is potent to defeat malignant tumor. Concurrent delivery of radioisotope with chemotherapeutic drugs, which also act as the radiosensitizer, to tumor tissues by a single vehicle is essential to achieve this objective. To this end, a macroscale injectable and thermosensitive micellar-hydrogel (MHg) depot was constructed by thermo-induced self-aggregation of poly(ε-caprolactone-co-1,4,8-trioxa[4.6]spiro-9-undecanone)-poly(ethyleneglycol)-poly(ε-caprolactone-co-1,4,8-trioxa[4.6]spiro-9-undecanone) (PECT) triblock copolymer micelles (Ms), which could not only serve as a micellar drug reservoir to locally deliver concentrated nano chemotherapeutic drugs, but also immobilize radioisotopes at the internal irradiation hot focus. Doxorubicin (DOX) and iodine-131 labeled hyaluronic acid (131I-HA) were used as the model therapeutic agents. The aqueous mixture of drug-loaded PECT micelles and 131I-HA exhibited sol-to-gel transition around body temperature. In vitro drug release study indicated that PECT/DOX Ms were sustainedly shed from the native PECT/DOX MHg formulation, which could be internalized by tumor cells with rapid intracellular DOX release. This hydrogel formulation demonstrated considerable in vitro antitumor effect as well as remarkable radiosensitization. In vivo subcutaneous injection of PECT MHg demonstrated that 131I isotope was immobilized stably at the injection location and no obvious indication of damage to major organs were observed as indicated by the histopathological analysis. Furthermore, the peritumoral injection of chemo-radiation therapeutic agents-encapsulated MHg formulation on tumor-bearing nude mice resulted in the desired combined treatment effect, which significantly improved the tumor growth inhibition efficiency with minimized drug-associated side effects to major organs. Consequently, such a thermosensitive MHg formulation, which enabled the precise control over the dosage and ratio of combination therapeutic agents to obtain the desired therapeutic effect with a single drug administration and reduced side effects, holds great potential for spatiotemporally delivery of multiple bioactive agents for sustained combination therapy.