Accelerated blood clearance of PEGylated liposomes containing doxorubicin upon repeated administration to dogs

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The accelerated blood clearance phenomenon involving anti-PEG IgM production has been recognized as an important issue for the design and development of PEGylated liposomes. Here, we show that empty PEGylated liposomes and Doxil, PEGylated liposomes containing doxorubicin, both caused anti-PEG IgM production and thereby a rapid clearance of the second and/or third dose of Doxil in Beagle dogs in a lipid-dose, inverse-dependent manner. It appears that the pharmacokinetic profile of the second and third administration of Doxil reflected the presence of anti-PEG IgM circulating in the blood. Doxil plus an excess amount of empty PEGylated liposomes rather enhanced the production of anti-PEG IgM compared to Doxil of the same doxorubicin dose. During sequential administration, increasing the lipid dose of Doxil in each dose by the addition of empty PEGylated liposomes strongly attenuated the magnitude of the ABC phenomenon during the effectuation phase of a second and third dose of Doxil. Our results suggest that the pre-clinical study of anti-cancer drug-containing PEGylated liposomes with dogs must be carefully designed and performed with monitoring of the anti-PEG IgM and liposomal drugs circulating in the blood.

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