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Int J Nanomedicine. 2012;7:1449-60. doi: 10.2147/IJN.S24711. Epub 2012 Mar 19.

Combination of TRAIL and actinomycin D liposomes enhances antitumor effect in non-small cell lung cancer.

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  • 1School of Pharmacy, Fudan University, Zhangheng Road, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China.

Abstract

The intractability of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) to multimodality treatments plays a large part in its extremely poor prognosis. Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a promising cytokine for selective induction of apoptosis in cancer cells; however, many NSCLC cell lines are resistant to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. The therapeutic effect can be restored by treatments combining TRAIL with chemotherapeutic agents. Actinomycin D (ActD) can sensitize NSCLC cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis by upregulation of death receptor 4 (DR4) or 5 (DR5). However, the use of ActD has significant drawbacks due to the side effects that result from its nonspecific biodistribution in vivo. In addition, the short half-life of TRAIL in serum also limits the antitumor effect of treatments combining TRAIL and ActD. In this study, we designed a combination treatment of long-circulating TRAIL liposomes and ActD liposomes with the aim of resolving these problems. The combination of TRAIL liposomes and ActD liposomes had a synergistic cytotoxic effect against A-549 cells. The mechanism behind this combination treatment includes both increased expression of DR5 and caspase activation. Moreover, systemic administration of the combination of TRAIL liposomes and ActD liposomes suppressed both tumor formation and growth of established subcutaneous NSCLC xenografts in nude mice, inducing apoptosis without causing significant general toxicity. These results provide preclinical proof-of-principle for a novel therapeutic strategy in which TRAIL liposomes are safely combined with ActD liposomes.

KEYWORDS:

TRAIL; actinomycin D; combination treatment; liposomes; non-small cell lung cancer

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