In nanomedicine, the hydrophobic nature of paclitaxel has favored its incorporation into many nanoparticle formulations for anti-cancer chemotherapy. At lower doses taxanes are reported to elicit anti-angiogenic responses. In the present study, the facile synthesis, development and characterization of a new lipase-labile docetaxel prodrug is reported and shown to be an effective anti-angiogenic agent in vitro and in vivo. The Sn 2 phosphatidylcholine prodrug was stably incorporated into the lipid membrane of αvβ3-integrin targeted perfluorocarbon (PFC) nanoparticles (αvβ3-Dxtl-PD NP) and did not appreciably release during dissolution against PBS buffer or plasma over three days. Overnight exposure of αvβ3-Dxtl-PD NP to plasma spiked with phospholipase enzyme failed to liberate the taxane from the membrane until the nanoparticle integrity was compromised with alcohol. The bioactivity and efficacy of αvβ3-Dxtl-PD NP in endothelial cell culture was as effective as Taxol® or free docetaxel in methanol at equimolar doses over 96 hours. The anti-angiogenesis effectiveness of αvβ3-Dxtl-PD NP was demonstrated in the Vx2 rabbit model using MR imaging of angiogenesis with the same αvβ3-PFC nanoparticle platform. Nontargeted Dxtl-PD NP had a similar MR anti-angiogenesis response as the integrin-targeted agent, but microscopically measured decreases in tumor cell proliferation and increased apoptosis were detected only for the targeted drug. Equivalent dosages of Abraxane® given over the same treatment schedule had no effect on angiogenesis when compared to control rabbits receiving saline only. These data demonstrate that αvβ3-Dxtl-PD NP can reduce MR detectable angiogenesis and slow tumor progression in the Vx2 model, whereas equivalent systemic treatment with free taxane had no benefit.
- Lipase-labile docetaxel prodrug