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Microparticle Delivery of Doxorubicin Increases Efficacy for Mesothelioma

Jedd M. Hillegass, Ph.D. and Brooke T. Mossman, Ph.D.
University of Vermont, College of Medicine
NIEHS Grant T32ES007122

NIEHS-supported researchers at the University of Vermont report possible new advances in the treatment of malignant mesothelioma by microparticle delivery of the chemotherapeutic agent doxorubicin. The research was carried out in laboratory animals and builds on previous findings from the same investigators.

Malignant mesotheliomas have a poor prognosis, largely because of their resistance to anti-cancer drugs like doxorubicin and others. The current study investigated the use of acid-prepared mesoporous microspheres (APMS) as a delivery vehicle for doxorubicin. APMS have been shown in previous research to be non-toxic in laboratory animals. The investigators injected APMS-doxorubicin intraperitoneally or directly into subcutaneous tumors. In comparison to doxorubicin alone, APMS-doxorubicin enhanced intracellular uptake of the drug and mesothelioma cell death. In the intraperitoneal treated animals, decrease tumor numbers and tumor size was achieved with one third the dose of doxorubicin in the combined form.

This finding suggests that APMS delivery of doxorubicin is an effective treatment for malignant mesotheliomas and reduces the dosage of the drug necessary to achieve tumor regression.

Citation: Citation: Hillegass JM, Blumen SR, Cheng K, MacPherson MB, Alexeeva V, Lathrop SA, Beuschel SL, Steinbacher JL, Butnor KJ, Ramos-NiƱo ME, Shukla A, James TA, Weiss, DJ, Taatjes DJ, Pass HI, Carbone M, Landry CC, Mossman BT. Increased efficacy of doxorubicin delivered in multifunctional microparticles for mesothelioma therapy. Int J Cancer. 2011 Jul 1;129(1):233-244.

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