Low dose metronomic chemotherapy (LDMC) refers to prolonged administration of low dose chemotherapy designed to minimize toxicity and target the tumor endothelium, causing tumor growth inhibition. Topotecan (TPT) when administered at its maximum tolerated dose (MTD) is often associated with systemic hematological toxicities. Liposomal encapsulation of TPT enhances efficacy by shielding it from systemic clearance, allowing greater uptake and extended tissue exposure in tumors. Extended release of TPT from liposomal formulations also has the potential to mimic metronomic therapies with fewer treatments. Here we investigate potential toxicities of equivalent doses of free and actively loaded liposomal TPT (LTPT) and compare them to a fractionated low dose regimen of free TPT in tumor-endothelial spheroids (TES) with/without radiation exposure for a prolonged period of 10 days. Using confocal microscopy, TPT fluorescence was monitored to determine the accumulation of drug within TES. These studies showed TES, being more reflective of the in vivo tumor microenvironment, were more sensitive to LTPT in comparison to free TPT with radiation. More importantly, the response of TES to low-dose metronomic TPT with radiation was comparable to similar treatment with LTPT. This TES study suggests nanoparticle formulations designed for extended release of drug can simulate LDMC in vivo.

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Published in Scientific Reports, v. 5, article 15236, p. 1-16.

Copyright © 2015, Macmillan Publishers Limited

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This project was supported by R25CA153954 and R21CA173609 (MU) from the National Cancer Institute.

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