Doxorubicin delivered by a redox-responsive dasatinib-containing polymeric prodrug carrier for combination therapy

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Two novel prodrug polymers POEG-b-PSSDas (redox-sensitive) and POEG-b-PCCDas (redox-insensitive), which consist of poly(oligo(ethylene glycol) methacrylate) (POEG) hydrophilic blocks and dasatinib (DAS, an oncogenic tyrosine kinases inhibitor) conjugated hydrophobic blocks, were designed as dual-functional carriers for codelivery with doxorubicin (DOX). Both carriers retained antitumor activity of DAS and could form mixed micelles with DOX. Compared to POEG-b-PCCDas micelles, incorporation of disulfide linkage into POEG-b-PSSDas micelles facilitated efficient cleavage of DAS from prodrug micelles in tumor cells/tissues, leading to a higher level of anti-tumor activity in vitro and in vivo. In addition, DOX-loaded POEG-b-PSSDas micelles exhibited triggered DOX release under a redox environment (10 mM glutathione, GSH), and demonstrated enhanced cytotoxicity against 4T1.2 and PC3 cell lines compared to DOX and DOX-loaded POEG-b-PCCDas micelles. More importantly, DOX-loaded POEG-b-PSSDas micelles were more effective in inhibiting the tumor growth and prolonging the survival rate in an aggressive murine breast cancer model (4T1.2) compared to DOX-loaded POEG-b-PCCDas micelles and a micellar formulation co-loaded with DOX and DAS. This redox-responsive prodrug micellar system provides an attractive strategy for effective combination of tumor targeted therapy and traditional chemotherapy, which warrants further investigation.

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