Liposome formulations of combretastatin A4 and its 4-arylcoumarin analogue prodrugs: The antitumor effect in the mouse model of breast cancer
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The antimitotic agent combretastatin A-4 (CA-4) has been recently proposed as an antivascular agent for anticancer therapy. In order to reduce systemic toxicity by means of administration in liposome formulations, new lipophilic prodrugs, oleic derivatives of CA-4 and its 4-arylcoumarin analogue (CA4-Ole and ArC-Ole, respectively), have been synthesized in this study. Liposomes with mean diameter of 100 nm prepared on the basis of egg phosphatidylcholine and baker’s yeast phosphatidylinositol quantitatively included up to 15 mol% of CA4-Ole, or 7 mol% of ArC-Ole. To achieve targeting to neovascular endothelium prodrug bearing liposomes decorated with the tetrasaccharide selectin ligand Sialyl Lewis X (SiaLeX) have been also prepared. The antitumor activity was studied in vivo using the model of slow-growing mouse breast cancer. Under the dose used (22 mg/kg) and the administration protocol (four injections, one per a week, starting from the appearance of palpable tumors) cytostatic CA-4 did not reveal any anticancer effect; moreover, it even stimulated tumor growth. The liposome formulations of CA4-Ole did not demonstrate such stimulation. However, to achieve a pronounced antitumor effect, the number of injections of liposomes should be apparently increased. The cytotoxic activity of a novel antimitotic agent ArC was one order of magnitude lower in the human breast carcinoma cell culture in vitro. Nevertheless, in vivo in the mouse model of breast cancer the antitumor effect of this compound corresponded to the double equivalent dose of CA-4. The results demonstrate perspectives of SiaLeX-liposomes loaded with ArC-Ole: the preparation partially inhibited tumor growth already after the second injection. Thus, subsequent optimization of doses and regimens of administration both for ArC and liposomal ArC-Ole formulations are needed.
Keywordscombretastatin A-4 4-arylcoumarins lipophilic prodrugs liposomes Sialyl Lewis X breast cancer
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