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Liposomes targeted to MHC-restricted antigen improve drug delivery and antimelanoma response

Authors Saeed M, Zalba S, Seynhaeve ALB, Debets R, ten Hagen TLM

Received 12 October 2018

Accepted for publication 13 December 2018

Published 26 March 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 2069—2089


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Govarthanan Muthusamy

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Anderson Oliveira Lobo

Mesha Saeed,1 Sara Zalba,1 Ann LB Seynhaeve,1 Reno Debets,2 Timo LM ten Hagen1

1Laboratory of Experimental Surgical Oncology, Section Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; 2Laboratory of Tumor Immunology, Department of Medical Oncology, Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Purpose: Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer. Chemotherapy at a late stage fails due to low accumulation in tumors, indicating the need for targeted therapy.
Materials and methods: To increase drug uptake by tumor cells, we have targeted doxorubicin-containing liposomes using a T-cell receptor (TCR)-like antibody (scFv G8 and Hyb3) directed against melanoma antigen A1 (MAGE-A1) presented by human leukocyte antigen A1 (M1/A1). With the use of flow cytometry and confocal microscopy, we have tested our formulation in vitro. In vivo pharmacokinetics was done in tumor-free nu/nu mice, while biodistribution and efficacy study was done in nu/nu mice xenograft.
Results: We demonstrated two to five times higher binding and internalization of these immunoliposomes by M1+/A1+ melanoma cells in vitro in comparison with nontargeted liposomes. Cytotoxicity assay showed significant tumor cell kill at 10 µM doxorubicin (DXR) for targeted vs nontargeted liposomes. In vivo pharmacokinetics of nontargeted and targeted liposomes were similar, while accumulation of targeted liposomes was 2- to 2.5-fold and 6.6-fold enhanced when compared with nontargeted liposomes and free drug, respectively. Notably, we showed a superior antitumor activity of MAGE-A1-targeted DXR liposomes toward M1+/A1+ expressing tumors in mice compared with the treatment of M1-/A1+ tumors. Our results indicate that targeted liposomes showed better cytotoxicity in vitro and pharmacokinetics in vivo.
Conclusion: Liposomes decorated with TCR-mimicking scFv antibodies effectively and selectively target antigen-positive melanoma. We showed that DXR-loaded liposomes coupled to anti-M1/-A1 scFv inflict a significant antitumor response. Targeting tumor cells specifically promotes internalization of drug-containing nanoparticles and may improve drug delivery and ultimately antitumor efficacy. Our data argue that targeting MAGE in A1 context, by nanosized carriers decorated with TCR-like antibodies mimicking scFv, can be used as a theragnostic platform for drug delivery, immunotherapy, and potentially imaging, and diagnosis of melanoma.

Keywords: immunotherapy, targeted liposomes, TCR-mimicking scFv, melanoma, antigen A1, MAGE-A1, chemotherapy

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