Extensive preclinical investigation of polymersomal formulation of doxorubicin versus Doxil-mimic formulation

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Abstract

Due to the severe cardiotoxicity of doxorubicin, its usage is limited. This shortcoming could be overcome by modifying pharmacokinetics of the drugs via preparation of various nanoplatforms.

Doxil, a well-known FDA-approved nanoplatform of doxorubicin as antineoplastic agent, is frequently used in clinics in order to reduce cardiotoxicity of doxorubicin. Since Doxil shows some shortcomings in clinics including hand and food syndrome and very slow release pattern thus, there is a demand for the development and preparation of new doxorubicin nanoformulation with fewer side effects.

The new formulation of the doxorubicin, synthesized previously by our group was extensively examined in the current study. This new formulation is doxorubicin encapsulated in PEG-PLGA polymersomes (PolyDOX). The main aim of the study was to compare the distribution and treatment efficacy of a new doxorubicin-polymersomal formulation (PolyDOX) with regular liposomal formulation (Doxil-mimic) in murine colon adenocarcinoma model. Additionally, the pathological, hematological changes, pharmacodynamics, biodistribution, tolerated dose and survival rate in vivo were evaluated and compared.

Murine colon cancer model was induced by subcutaneous inoculation of BALB/c mice with C26 cells. Afterwards, either Doxil-mimic or PolyDOX was administered intravenously.

The obtained results from biodistribution study showed a remarkable difference in the distribution of drugs in murine organs. In this regard, Doxil-mimic exhibited prolonged (48 h) presence within liver tissues while PolyDOX preferentially accumulate in tumor and the presence in liver 48 h post-treatment was significantly lower than that of Doxil-mimic.

Obtained results demonstrated comparable final length of life for mice receiving either Doxil-mimic or PolyDOX formulations whereas tolerated dose of mice receiving Doxil-mimic was remarkably higher than those receiving PolyDOX.

Therapeutic efficacy of formulation in term of tumor growth rate after one injection of formulations (5 mg/kg, 10 mg/kg or 15 mg/kg) demonstrated better efficacy at lower dose for PolyDOX.

Analysis of Kaplan Meier curve was in favor of both formulations in their treatment–dose. Pathological and hematological surveys of mice treated with both formulations did not show considerable difference except for a small atrophy in liver observed after successive administration of Doxil-mimic.

It could be concluded that PolyDOX can potentially limit off-site effects of Doxil due to its biodegradability and sustained release properties while it exhibited favorable safety profile comparable to Doxil.

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