Drug delivery through thermosensitive liposomes (TSL) in combination with hyperthermia (HT) has shown great potential. HT can be applied locally forcing TSL to release their content in the heated tumor resulting in high peak concentrations. To perform optimally the drug is ideally released fast (seconds) and taken up rapidly by tumor cells. The aim of this study was to develop a novel thermosensitive liposome formulation of the anthracycline idarubicin (IDA-TSL). The hydrophobicity of idarubicin may improve its release from liposomes and subsequently rapid cellular uptake when combined mild hyperthermia. Here, we investigated a series of parameters to optimize IDA-TSL formulation. The results show that the optimal formulation for IDA-TSL is DPPC/DSPC/DSPE-PEG (6/3.5/0.5 mol%), with ammonium EDTA of 6.5 pH as loading buffer and a size of ~ 85 nm. In vitro studies demonstrated minimal leakage of ~ 20% in FCS at 37 °C for 1 h, while an ultrafast and complete triggered release of IDA was observed at 42 °C. On tumor cells IDA-TSL showed comparable cytotoxicity to free IDA at 42 °C, but low cytotoxicity at 37 °C. Intravital microscopy imaging demonstrated an efficient in vivo intravascular triggered drug release of IDA-TSL under mild hyperthermia, and a subsequent massive IDA uptake by tumor cells. In animal efficacy studies, IDA-TSL plus mild HT demonstrated prominent tumor growth inhibition and superior survival rate over free IDA with HT or a clinically used Doxil treatment. These results suggest beneficial potential of IDA-TSL combined with local mild HT.

Idarubicin, Mild hyperthermia, Thermosensitive liposome, Triggered drug release
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jconrel.2015.10.056, hdl.handle.net/1765/85042
Journal of Controlled Release
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Lu, T, Lokerse, W.J.M, Seynhaeve, A.L.B, Koning, G.A, & ten Hagen, T.L.M. (2015). Formulation and optimization of idarubicin thermosensitive liposomes provides ultrafast triggered release at mild hyperthermia and improves tumor response. Journal of Controlled Release, 220, 425–437. doi:10.1016/j.jconrel.2015.10.056