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Normalizing tumor blood vessels improves delivery of only the smallest nanomedicines
Date:4/9/2012

eep them out of normal tissues, they are prescribed to reduce the negative side effects of chemotherapy.

The current study was designed to investigate whether the use of antiangiogenesis drugs to normalize tumor vasculature would improve or impede delivery of nanomedicines to tumor cells. In studies using a mouse model of breast cancer, the investigators first confirmed that treatment with DC101, an antibody to a molecule essential to blood vessel growth, temporarily decreased the diameter of enlarged tumor blood vessels. They then showed that this vascular normalization improved the penetration into tumors of 12-nanometer particles but not of 60- or 125-nanometer molecules.

A mathematical model prepared by the MGH team predicted that, while the abnormally large pores in the walls of tumor blood vessels lead to increased pressure within the tumor that impedes the entry of drugs, reducing pore size by antiangiogenesis treatment would relieve intratumor pressure, allowing the entry of those molecules that fit through the smaller pores. To test this prediction, they treated mice with implanted breast tumors either with DC101 and Doxil, a 100-nanometer version of the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin, or with DC101 and Abraxane, a 10-nanometer version of paclitaxel. Although treatment with both chemotherapeutics delayed tumor growth, vascular normalization with DC101 improved the effectiveness only of Abraxane and had no effect on Doxil treatment.

"A variety of anticancer nanomedicines are currently in use or in clinical trials," says Chauhan, who is a graduate student at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). "Our findings suggest that combining smaller nanomedicines with antiangiogenic therapies may have a synergistic effect and that smaller nanomedicines should inherently penetrate tumors faster than larger nanomedicines, due to the physical principles that govern drug penetration. While it looks like future dev
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Contact: Sue McGreevey
smcgreevey@partners.org
617-724-2764
Massachusetts General Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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