Cocktail of lipophilic and hydrophilic chemotherapeutics in high-load core@shell nanocarriers to treat pancreatic tumours

  • chair:

    Rudolph, D. / Ischyropoulou, M. / Pfeifer, J. / Napp, J. / Schepers, U. / Alves, F. / Feldmann, C. (2024)

  • place:

    Nanoscale Adv., 2024,6, 973-984

  • Date: Januar 2024
  • Abstract

    ITC/Toc@Gd2(FLP)3 core@shell nanocarriers with a chemotherapeutic cocktail of lipophilic irinotecan (ITC) as the particle core and hydrophilic fludarabine phosphate (FLP) in the particle shell are realized. They are prepared via a microemulsion approach with ITC dissolved in tocopherol (Toc) as droplet phase and stabilized by water-insoluble Gd2(FLP)3. The synthesis can be followed by zeta-potential analysis. X-ray powder diffraction, infrared spectroscopy, elemental analysis, thermogravimetry, and photometry show a drug load of 49 μg per mL ITC and 317 μg per mL FLP at a nanocarrier concentration of 1.5 mg mL−1. Size and structure are evidenced by electron microscopy, resulting in a total diameter of 45 ± 16 nm, an inner core of 40 ± 17 nm, and a shell of 3–8 nm. In vitro studies with different cancer cell lines (i.e., human melanoma/SK-Mel-28, cervical cancer/HeLa, mouse pancreatic cancer/Panc02 and KPC as well as human pancreatic cancer/Capan-1 cells) prove efficient nanocarrier uptake and promising cytostatic efficacy. Specifically for KPC cells, ITC/Toc@Gd2(FLP)3 nanocarriers show an increased efficacy, with half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50: 4.2 μM) > 10 times lower than the free drugs (IC50: ITC: 47.7 μM, FLP: 143 μM). This points to the synergistic effect of the ITC/FLP drug cocktail in the nanocarriers and may result in a promising strategy to treat pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC).