• Development of Novel Tumor-Targeted Theranostic Nanoparticles Activated by Membrane-Type Matrix Metalloproteinases for Combined Cancer Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Therapy

      Ansari, C.; Tikhomirov, G.A.; Hong, S.H.; Falconer, Robert A.; Loadman, Paul M.; Gill, Jason H.; Castaneda, R.; Hazard, F.K.; Tong, L.; Lenkov, O.D.; et al. (2014-02-04)
      A major drawback with current cancer therapy is the prevalence of unrequired doselimiting toxicity to non-cancerous tissues and organs, which is further compounded by a limited ability to rapidly and easily monitor drug delivery, pharmacodynamics and therapeutic response. In this report, the design and characterization of novel multifunctional “theranostic” nanoparticles (TNPs) is described for enzyme-specifi c drug activation at tumor sites and simultaneous in vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of drug delivery. TNPs are synthesized by conjugation of FDA-approved iron oxide nanoparticles ferumoxytol to an MMP-activatable peptide conjugate of azademethylcolchicine (ICT), creating CLIOICTs (TNPs). Signifi cant cell death is observed in TNP-treated MMP-14 positive MMTVPyMT breast cancer cells in vitro, but not MMP-14 negative fi broblasts or cells treated with ferumoxytol alone. Intravenous administration of TNPs to MMTV-PyMT tumor-bearing mice and subsequent MRI demonstrates signifi cant tumor selective accumulation of the TNP, an observation confi rmed by histopathology. Treatment with CLIO-ICTs induces a significant antitumor effect and tumor necrosis, a response not observed with ferumoxytol. Furthermore, no toxicity or cell death is observed in normal tissues following treatment with CLIO-ICTs, ICT, or ferumoxytol. These fi ndings demonstrate proof of concept for a new nanotemplate that integrates tumor specifi city, drug delivery and in vivo imaging into a single TNP entity through attachment of enzyme-activated prodrugs onto magnetic nanoparticles. This novel approach holds the potential to signifi cantly improve targeted cancer therapies, and ultimately enable personalized therapy regimens.
    • A novel theranostic strategy for MMP-14 expressing glioblastomas impacts survival

      Mohanty, S.; Chen, Z.; Li, K.; Ribeiro Morais, Goreti; Klockow, J.; Yerneni, K.; Pasani, L.; Chin, F.T.; Mitra, S.; Cheshier, S.; et al. (2017-06)
      Glioblastoma (GBM) has a dismal prognosis. Evidence from preclinical tumor models and human trials indicates the role of GBM initiating cells (GIC) in GBM drug resistance. Here, we propose a new treatment option with tumor enzyme-activatable, combined therapeutic and diagnostic (theranostic) nanoparticles, which caused specific toxicity against GBM tumor cells and GICs. The theranostic cross-linked iron oxide nanoparticles (CLIO) were conjugated to a highly potent vascular disrupting agent (ICT) and secured with a matrix-metalloproteinase (MMP-14) cleavable peptide. Treatment with CLIO-ICT disrupted tumor vasculature of MMP-14 expressing GBM, induced GIC apoptosis and significantly impaired tumor growth. In addition, the iron core of CLIO-ICT enabled in vivo drug tracking with MR imaging. Treatment with CLIO-ICT plus temozolomide achieved tumor remission and significantly increased survival of human GBM bearing mice by more than 2 fold compared to treatment with temozolomide alone. Thus, we present a novel therapeutic strategy with significant impact on survival and great potential for clinical translation.
    • Theranostic nanoparticles enhance the response of glioblastomas to radiation

      Wu, W.; Klockow, J.L.; Mohanty, S.; Ku, K.S.; Aghighi, M.; Melemenidis, S.; Chen, Z.; Li, K.; Ribeiro Morais, Goreti; Zhao, N.; et al. (ivyspring, 2019-09-17)
      Despite considerable progress with our understanding of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and the precise delivery of radiotherapy, the prognosis for GBM patients is still unfavorable with tumor recurrence due to radioresistance being a major concern. We recently developed a cross-linked iron oxide nanoparticle conjugated to azademethylcolchicine (CLIO-ICT) to target and eradicate a subpopulation of quiescent cells, glioblastoma initiating cells (GICs), which could be a reason for radioresistance and tumor relapse. The purpose of our study was to investigate if CLIO-ICT has an additive therapeutic effect to enhance the response of GBMs to ionizing radiation. Methods: NSG™ mice bearing human GBMs and C57BL/6J mice bearing murine GBMs received CLIO-ICT, radiation, or combination treatment. The mice underwent pre- and post-treatment magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, bioluminescence imaging (BLI), and histological analysis. Tumor nanoparticle enhancement, tumor flux, microvessel density, GIC, and apoptosis markers were compared between different groups using a one-way ANOVA and two-tailed Mann-Whitney test. Additional NSG™ mice underwent survival analyses with Kaplan–Meier curves and a log rank (Mantel–Cox) test. Results: At 2 weeks post-treatment, BLI and MRI scans revealed significant reduction in tumor size for CLIO-ICT plus radiation treated tumors compared to monotherapy or vehicle-treated tumors. Combining CLIO-ICT with radiation therapy significantly decreased microvessel density, decreased GICs, increased caspase-3 expression, and prolonged the survival of GBM-bearing mice. CLIO-ICT delivery to GBM could be monitored with MRI. and was not significantly different before and after radiation. There was no significant caspase-3 expression in normal brain at therapeutic doses of CLIO-ICT administered. Conclusion: Our data shows additive anti-tumor effects of CLIO-ICT nanoparticles in combination with radiotherapy. The combination therapy proposed here could potentially be a clinically translatable strategy for treating GBMs.