Back to Journals » International Journal of Nanomedicine » Volume 11

Nanomedicine developments in the treatment of metastatic pancreatic cancer: focus on nanoliposomal irinotecan

Authors Ko A

Received 22 November 2015

Accepted for publication 14 January 2016

Published 31 March 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 1225—1235

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S88084

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Jiang Yang

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas J Webster


Andrew H Ko

Division of Hematology/Oncology, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA

Abstract: Nanoliposomal irinotecan (nal-IRI) was originally developed using an efficient and high-loading capacity system to encapsulate irinotecan within a liposomal carrier, producing a therapeutic agent with improved biodistribution and pharmacokinetic characteristics compared to free drug. Specifically, administration of nal-IRI results in prolonged exposure of SN-38, the active metabolite of irinotecan, within tumors, while at the same time offering the advantage of less systemic toxicity than traditional irinotecan. These favorable properties of nal-IRI, confirmed in a variety of tumor xenograft models, led to its clinical evaluation in a number of disease indications for which camptothecins have proven activity, including in colorectal, gastric, and pancreatic cancers. The culmination of these clinical trials was the NAPOLI-1 (Nanoliposomal irinotecan with fluorouracil and folinic acid in metastatic pancreatic cancer after previous gemcitabine-based therapy) trial, an international Phase III study evaluating nal-IRI both alone and in combination with 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin in patients with metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma following progression on gemcitabine-based chemotherapy. Positive results from NAPOLI-1 led to approval of nal-IRI (with 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin) in October 2015 by the US Food and Drug Administration specifically for the treatment of metastatic pancreatic cancer in the second-line setting and beyond, a clinical context in which there had previously been no accepted standard of care. As such, nal-IRI represents an important landmark in cancer drug development, and potentially ushers in a new era where a greater number of patients with advanced pancreatic cancer can be sequenced through multiple lines of therapy translating into meaningful improvements in survival.

Keywords: pancreatic cancer, irinotecan, nanoliposomal, clinical trial, NAPOLI-1

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]