Development and biological evaluation of drug delivery nanosystems targeting hypoxic tumors
|Ilies, Marc A.
|Shabana, Ahmed Marawan
|Hypoxia is a characteristic pathophysiological feature of many solid tumors, which contributes significantly to resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It also induces numerous intracellular signaling pathways, which in turn trigger the upregulation of various key proteins promoting tumor cell survival, progression and metastasis. In this context, novel therapeutic approaches are urgently needed to facilitate the early detection and improve the treatment of hypoxic tumors. Focusing on the hypoxic tumor microenvironment, one can recognize that the membrane bound carbonic anhydrase IX (CA IX) isozyme represents a potential biomarker and a compelling therapeutic target for better diagnosis and management of hypoxic tumors. CA IX is significantly overexpressed under hypoxic conditions as compared to normal tissues and it assists tumor cell to maintain neutral intracellular pH values. Building on this hypothesis, we are focusing our efforts in this thesis towards the development and the optimization of drug delivery nanosystems capable of selectively targeting CA IX that is overexpressed in the hypoxic tumor niche, which in turn will enhance the early detection of hypoxic tumors as well as improve the accumulation of chemotherapeutic drugs in hypoxic cancer cells. This strategy is expected to overcome the chemoresistance associated with tumor hypoxia and minimize the systemic side effects associated with chemotherapeutic drugs administration. In chapter 2, we focused our efforts towards the development of the in vitro biological models for testing our nanoparticles. This process was achieved through screening a series of cancer cell lines for the expression of our target epitope under hypoxic conditions. We induced hypoxia either chemically, using cobalt chloride, or physicochemically, using a hypoxia chamber purged with hypoxia gas mixture containing 1% O2. Screening for CA IX overexpression under hypoxic conditions was done both in 2D monolayer cells and 3D tumor spheroids, which become naturally hypoxic due to their 3D growth. Western blot analysis was used to confirm the expression of our target protein and we have identified three cell lines with a high level of expression of CA IX under hypoxic conditions, namely HT-29 colorectal cancer, SKOV-3 ovarian cancer and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell lines. In chapter 3, we optimized a theranostic liposomal delivery system through the use of a combination of zwitterionic amphiphilies of different packing parameters to encapsulate a potent fluorescent carbonic anhydrase inhibitor (CAI), as a novel approach to facilitate the detection of colorectal cancer. Our main focus was to increase the aqueous concentration of poorly water-soluble CAI, to correlate its delivery efficiency with the lipid type and composition of the liposomal nanosystem, as well as to enhance the tissue permeability, allowing easy detection of small tumor polyps. Our optimized DMPC/DOPE liposomal formulation demonstrated an optimum size, high encapsulation efficiency of CAI, and a phase transition temperature below 37 ᴼC that allows efficient delivery of CAI and good tissue penetrability towards the hypoxic tumor cells overexpressing CA IX. In chapter 4, we optimized a CAI-targeted long circulating liposomal delivery system encapsulating doxorubicin. Our main focus was to enhance the accumulation of doxorubicin in hypoxic tumors through targeting CA IX protein overexpressed under hypoxic conditions. This strategy proved to enhance the internalization of the drug carrier into hypoxic cancer cells thus overcoming chemoresistance associated with hypoxia and also minimize the systemic side effects associated with the intravenous administration of non-targeted Doxil®-like formulations. In chapter 5, we optimized a pH sensitive gold nanoplatform functionalized with CAI based moieties to enhance the selective delivery of doxorubicin to hypoxic tumors in a controlled release manner. Our main focus was to combine the advantage of targeting CA IX overexpressed under hypoxic conditions with the intracellular triggered release of doxorubicin in the lysosomes inside the cell in order to enhance the delivery of doxorubicin inside the cancer cells and to overcome the chemoresistance associated with hypoxia.
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|Theses and Dissertations
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|Development and biological evaluation of drug delivery nanosystems targeting hypoxic tumors
|Canney, Daniel J.
|Borenstein, Michael R.
|Wunder, Stephanie L.
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