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Enhanced delivery of paclitaxel liposomes using focused ultrasound with microbubbles for treating nude mice bearing intracranial glioblastoma xenografts

Authors Shen Y, Pi Z, Yan F, Yeh CK, Zeng X, Diao X, Hu Y, Chen S, Chen X, Zheng H

Received 19 March 2017

Accepted for publication 4 July 2017

Published 9 August 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 5613—5629


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Lei Yang

Yuanyuan Shen,1 Zhaoke Pi,1 Fei Yan,2 Chih-Kuang Yeh,3 Xiaojun Zeng,4 Xianfen Diao,1 Yaxin Hu,1 Siping Chen,1 Xin Chen,1 Hairong Zheng2

1National-Regional Key Technology Engineering Laboratory for Medical Ultrasound, Guangdong Key Laboratory for Biomedical Measurements and Ultrasound Imaging, School of Biomedical Engineering, Health Science Center, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China; 2Paul C Lauterbur Research Center for Biomedical Imaging, Institute of Biomedical and Health Engineering, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Biomedical Engineering and Environmental Sciences, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan; 4Shenzhen Second People’s Hospital, Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: Paclitaxel liposomes (PTX-LIPO) are a clinically promising antineoplastic drug formulation for the treatment of various extracranial cancers, excluding glioblastoma. A main reason for this is the presence of the blood–brain barrier (BBB) or blood–tumor barrier (BTB), preventing liposomal drugs from crossing at a therapeutically meaningful level. Focused ultrasound (FUS) in conjunction with microbubbles (MBs) has been suggested in many studies to be an effective approach to increase the BBB or BTB permeability. In this study, we investigated the feasibility of enhancing the delivery of PTX-LIPO in intracranial glioblastoma-bearing nude mice using pulsed low-intensity FUS exposure in the presence of MBs. Our results showed that the delivery efficiency of PTX-LIPO could be effectively improved in terms of the penetration of both the BBB in vitro and BTB in vivo by pulsed FUS sonication with a 10 ms pulse length and 1 Hz pulse repetition frequency at 0.64 MPa peak-rarefactional pressure in the presence of MBs. Quantitative analysis showed that a 2-fold higher drug concentration had accumulated in the glioblastoma 3 h after FUS treatment, with 7.20±1.18 µg PTX per g glioma tissue. Longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging analysis illustrated that the intracranial glioblastoma progression in nude mice treated with PTX-LIPO delivered via FUS with MBs was suppressed consistently for 4 weeks compared to the untreated group. The medium survival time of these tumor-bearing nude mice was significantly prolonged by 20.8%, compared to the untreated nude mice. Immunohistochemical analysis further confirmed the antiproliferation effect and cell apoptosis induction. Our study demonstrated that noninvasive low-intensity FUS with MBs can be used as an effective approach to deliver PTX-LIPO in order to improve their chemotherapy efficacy toward glioblastoma.

Keywords: paclitaxel liposomes, focused ultrasound, microbubbles, blood-brain barrier

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