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Int J Cancer. 2000 Apr 1;86(1):108-17.

Efficacy of the chemotherapeutic action of HPMA copolymer-bound doxorubicin in a solid tumor model of ovarian carcinoma.

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1
Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Utah, Salt Lake City 84112, USA.

Abstract

Anticancer activity and main mechanisms of action of free doxorubicin (DOX) and HPMA copolymer-bound DOX (P(GFLG)-DOX) were studied in solid tumor mice models of DOX sensitive and resistant human ovarian carcinoma. Free DOX was effective only in sensitive tumors decreasing the tumor size about three times, whereas P(GFLG)-DOX decreased the tumor size 28 and 18 times in the sensitive and resistant tumors. An enhanced accumulation of P(GFLG)-DOX in the tumor was observed, whereas only low concentrations of DOX were detected in other organs following P(GFLG)-DOX administration. This effect was dependent on the high permeability of blood vessels in untreated tumors. After treatment with P(GFLG)-DOX the permeability decreased concomitantly with the downregulation of VEGF gene expression. P(GFLG)-DOX effectively killed both types of tumors inducing apoptosis and necrosis through the activation of p53, Apaf-1, caspase 9, c-fos, or c-jun pathways, and the downregulation of the bcl-2 gene. HPMA copolymer-bound DOX preserved its activity inside cells, inhibited detoxification and defensive mechanisms encoded by GST-pi, BUDP, and HSP-70 genes, and limited DNA repair, replication, and biosynthesis by downregulation of Topo-IIalpha,beta, and TK1 genes. P(GFLG)-DOX also produced tumor tissue hypoxia and significantly activated lipid peroxidation in tumors. No damage to other organs after exposure to P(GFLG)-DOX was detectable. On the other hand, free DOX activated lipid peroxidation and led to tissue hypoxia in many organs. All data relevant to the mechanism of anticancer action of P(GFLG)-DOX indicated a higher antitumor activity and lower systemic toxicity of HPMA copolymer-bound DOX when compared with free DOX.

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