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Cancer Res. 2005 Dec 15;65(24):11631-8.

Epidermal growth factor receptor-targeted immunoliposomes significantly enhance the efficacy of multiple anticancer drugs in vivo.

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  • 1Division of Hematology-Oncology, University of California at San Francisco, 94115, USA.

Abstract

We previously reported the development of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-targeted immunoliposomes that bind and internalize in tumor cells which overexpress EGFR and/or mutant EGFR variant III (EGFRvIII), enabling intracellular delivery of potent anticancer agents in vitro. We now describe in vivo proof-of-concept for this approach for the delivery of multiple anticancer drugs in EGFR-overexpressing tumor models. Anti-EGFR immunoliposomes were constructed modularly with Fab' fragments of cetuximab (IMC-C225), covalently linked to liposomes containing probes and/or anticancer drugs. Pharmacokinetic and biodistribution studies confirmed long circulation times (t(1/2) = 21 hours) and efficient accumulation in tumors (up to 15% ID/g) irrespective of the presence of the targeting ligand. Although total accumulations of anti-EGFR immunoliposomes and nontargeted liposomes in EGFR-overexpressing tumors were comparable, only immunoliposomes internalized extensively within tumor cells (92% of analyzed cells versus <5% for nontargeted liposomes), indicating different mechanisms of delivery at the cellular level. In vivo therapy studies in a series of xenograft models featuring overexpression of EGFR and/or EGFRvIII showed the superiority of immunoliposomal delivery of encapsulated drugs, which included doxorubicin, epirubicin, and vinorelbine. For each of these drugs, anti-EGFR immunoliposome delivery showed significant antitumor effects and was significantly superior to all other treatments, including the corresponding free or liposomal drug (P < 0.001-0.003). We conclude that anti-EGFR immunoliposomes provide efficient and targeted drug delivery of anticancer compounds and may represent a useful new treatment approach for tumors that overexpress the EGFR.

PMID:
16357174
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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