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Drug delivery to solid tumors: the predictive value of the multicellular tumor spheroid model for nanomedicine screening

Authors Millard M, Yakavets I, Zorin V, Kulmukhamedova A, Marchal S, Bezdetnaya L

Received 22 July 2017

Accepted for publication 22 September 2017

Published 31 October 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 7993—8007

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S146927

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Govarthanan Muthusamy

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas J Webster


Marie Millard,1,2 Ilya Yakavets,1–3 Vladimir Zorin,3,4 Aigul Kulmukhamedova,1,2,5 Sophie Marchal,1,2 Lina Bezdetnaya1,2

1Centre de Recherche en Automatique de Nancy, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique UMR 7039, Université de Lorraine, 2Research Department, Institut de Cancérologie de Lorraine, Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy, France; 3Laboratory of Biophysics and Biotechnology, 4International Sakharov Environmental Institute, Belarusian State University, Minsk, Belarus; 5Department of Radiology, Medical Company Sunkar, Almaty, Kazakhstan

Abstract: The increasing number of publications on the subject shows that nanomedicine is an attractive field for investigations aiming to considerably improve anticancer chemotherapy. Based on selective tumor targeting while sparing healthy tissue, carrier-mediated drug delivery has been expected to provide significant benefits to patients. However, despite reduced systemic toxicity, most nanodrugs approved for clinical use have been less effective than previously anticipated. The gap between experimental results and clinical outcomes demonstrates the necessity to perform comprehensive drug screening by using powerful preclinical models. In this context, in vitro three-dimensional models can provide key information on drug behavior inside the tumor tissue. The multicellular tumor spheroid (MCTS) model closely mimics a small avascular tumor with the presence of proliferative cells surrounding quiescent cells and a necrotic core. Oxygen, pH and nutrient gradients are similar to those of solid tumor. Furthermore, extracellular matrix (ECM) components and stromal cells can be embedded in the most sophisticated spheroid design. All these elements together with the physicochemical properties of nanoparticles (NPs) play a key role in drug transport, and therefore, the MCTS model is appropriate to assess the ability of NP to penetrate the tumor tissue. This review presents recent developments in MCTS models for a better comprehension of the interactions between NPs and tumor components that affect tumor drug delivery. MCTS is particularly suitable for the high-throughput screening of new nanodrugs.

Keywords: nanodrug, tridimensional model, distribution, accumulation, cytotoxicity

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