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J Control Release. 2013 Dec 28;172(3):737-44. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2013.09.011. Epub 2013 Sep 20.

Paclitaxel-loaded polymeric microparticles: quantitative relationships between in vitro drug release rate and in vivo pharmacodynamics.

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College of Pharmacy, The Ohio State University, Columbus, 43210, USA.


Intraperitoneal therapy (IP) has demonstrated survival advantages in patients with peritoneal cancers, but has not become a widely practiced standard-of-care in part due to local toxicity and sub-optimal drug delivery. Paclitaxel-loaded, polymeric microparticles were developed to overcome these limitations. The present study evaluated the effects of microparticle properties on paclitaxel release (extent and rate) and in vivo pharmacodynamics. In vitro paclitaxel release from microparticles with varying physical characteristics (i.e., particle size, copolymer viscosity and composition) was evaluated. A method was developed to simulate the dosing rate and cumulative dose released in the peritoneal cavity based on the in vitro release data. The relationship between the simulated drug delivery and treatment outcomes of seven microparticle compositions was studied in mice bearing IP human pancreatic tumors, and compared to that of the intravenous Cremophor micellar paclitaxel solution used off-label in previous IP studies. Paclitaxel release from polymeric microparticles in vitro was multi-phasic; release was greater and more rapid from microparticles with lower polymer viscosities and smaller diameters (e.g., viscosity of 0.17 vs. 0.67 dl/g and diameter of 5-6 vs. 50-60 μm). The simulated drug release in the peritoneal cavity linearly correlated with treatment efficacy in mice (r(2)>0.8, p<0.001). The smaller microparticles, which distribute more evenly in the peritoneal cavity compared to the large microparticles, showed greater dose efficiency. For single treatment, the microparticles demonstrated up to 2-times longer survival extension and 4-times higher dose efficiency, relative to the paclitaxel/Cremophor micellar solution. Upon repeated dosing, the paclitaxel/Cremophor micellar solution showed cumulative toxicity whereas the microparticle that yielded 2-times longer survival did not display cumulative toxicity. The efficacy of IP therapy depended on both temporal and spatial factors that were determined by the characteristics of the drug delivery system. A combination of fast- and slow-releasing microparticles with 5-6 μm diameter provided favorable spatial distribution and optimal drug release for IP therapy.


AIC; Akaike Information Criterion; Controlled release; GA; HPLC; ILS; IP; In vitro–in vivo correlation; Intraperitoneal therapy; LA; LM; MP; MST; PLGA; PLGA microparticles; Paclitaxel; SF; SS; Tg; VIS; glass transition temperature; glycolic acid; high performance liquid chromatograph; increase in life span; inherent viscosity; intraperitoneal; lactic acid; large microparticles with medium release rate; median survival time; microparticles; poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide) acid; small microparticles with fast release rate; small microparticles with slow release rate

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