Co-administration of liposomal l-OHP and PEGylated TS shRNA-lipoplex: A novel approach to enhance anti-tumor efficacy and reduce the immunogenic response to RNAi molecules
Many therapeutic strategies have been applied in efforts to conquer the development and/or progression of cancer. The combination of chemotherapy and an RNAi-based approach has proven to be an efficient anticancer therapy. However, the feasibility of such a therapeutic strategy has been substantially restricted either by the failure to achieve the efficient delivery of RNAi molecules to tumor tissue or by the immunostimulatory response triggered by RNAi molecules. In this study, therefore, we intended to investigate the efficacy of using liposomal oxaliplatin (liposomal l-OHP) to guarantee the efficient delivery of RNAi molecules, namely shRNA against thymidylate synthase (TS shRNA) complexed with cationic liposome (TS shRNA-lipoplex), to solid tumors, and to suppress the immunostimulatory effect of RNAi molecules, TS shRNA, following intravenous administration. Herein, we describe how liposomal l-OHP enhanced the intra-tumor accumulation of TS shRNA-lipoplex and significantly reduced the immunostimulatory response triggered by TS shRNA. Consequently, such enhanced accumulation of TS shRNA-lipoplex along with the cytotoxic effect of liposomal l-OHP led to a remarkable tumor growth suppression (compared to mono-therapy) following systemic administration. Our results, therefore, may have important implications for the provision of a safer and more applicable combination therapy of RNAi molecules and anti-cancer agents that can produce a more reliable anti-tumor effect.