Purpose: The proposed project is aimed at enhancing the efficiency of epithelial ovarian cancer treatment and reducing adverse side effects of chemotherapy using nanotechnology. Overexpression of the CD44 membrane receptor results in tumor initiation, growth, cancer stem cells' specific behavior, development of drug resistance, and metastases. We hypothesize that a developed cancer-targeted delivery system that combines CD44 siRNA with paclitaxel would successfully deliver its payload inside cancer cells, effectively induce cell death, and prevent metastases. Experimental Design: We synthesized, characterized, and tested a nanoscale-based drug delivery system (DDS) containing a modified polypropylenimine (PPI) dendrimer as a carrier; anticancer drug paclitaxel as a cell death inducer; a synthetic analog of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) peptide as a tumor-targeting moiety; and siRNA targeted to CD44 mRNA. The proposed DDS was tested in vitro and in vivo using metastatic ovarian cancer cells isolated from patients with malignant ascites. Results: We found that in contrast with cells isolated from primary tumors, CD44 was highly overexpressed in metastatic cancer cells. Treatment with the proposed tumor-targeted nanoscale-based nucleic acid and DDS led to the suppression of CD44 mRNA and protein, efficient induction of cell death, effective tumor shrinkage, and prevention of adverse side effects on healthy organs. Conclusion: We show a high therapeutic potential for combinatorial treatment of ovarian carcinoma with a novel DDS that effectively transports siRNA targeting to CD44 mRNA simultaneously with cytotoxic agents.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research