Tumor-targeted drug delivery improves anti-tumor efficacy and reduces systemic toxicity by limiting bioavailability of cytotoxic drugs to within tumors. Targeting reagents, such as peptides or antibodies recognizing molecular targets over-expressed within tumors, have been used to improve liposome-encapsulated drug accumulation within tumors and resulted in enhanced tumor growth control. In this report, we expand the scope of targeting reagents by showing that one peptide, HVGGSSV which was isolated from an in vivo screening of phage-displayed peptide library due to its selective binding within irradiated tumors, enabled highly selective tumor-targeted delivery of liposome-encapsulated doxorubicin and resulted in enhanced cytotoxicity within tumors. Targeting liposomes (TL) and non-targeting liposomes (nTL) were labeled with Alexa Fluor 750. Biodistribution of the liposomes within tumor-bearing mice was studied with near infrared (NIR) imaging. In the single dose pharmacokinetic study, the liposomal doxorubicin has an extended circulation half life as compared to the free doxorubicin. Targeting liposomes partitioned to the irradiated tumors and improved drug deposition and retention within tumors. The tumor-targeted delivery of doxorubicin improved tumor growth control as indicated with reduced tumor growth rate and tumor cell proliferation, enhanced tumor blood vessel destruction, and increased treatment-associated apoptosis and necrosis of tumor cells. Collectively, the results demonstrated the remarkable capability of the HVGGSSV peptide in radiation-guided drug delivery to tumors.
- Lung cancer
- Phage-displayed peptide
- Radiation-guided drug delivery
- Xenograft model