Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) has attracted great interest as a cancer therapy because it selectively induces death receptor (DR)-mediated apoptosis in cancer cells while sparing normal tissue. However, recombinant human TRAIL demonstrates limited therapeutic efficacy in clinical trials, possibly due to TRAIL-resistance of primary cancers and its inherent short half-life. Here we introduce drug delivery approaches to maximize in vivo potency of TRAIL in TRAIL-resistant tumor xenografts by (1) extending the half-life of the ligand with PEGylated TRAIL (TRAILPEG) and (2) concentrating a TRAIL sensitizer, selected from in vitro screening, in tumors via tumor-homing nanoparticles. Antitumor efficacy of TRAILPEG with tumor-homing sensitizer was evaluated in HCT116 and HT-29 colon xenografts. Western blot, real-time PCR, immunohistochemistry and cell viability assays were employed to investigate mechanisms of action and antitumor efficacy of the combination. We discovered that doxorubicin (DOX) sensitizes TRAIL-resistant HT-29 colon cancer cells to TRAIL by upregulating mRNA expression of DR5 by 60% in vitro. Intravenously administered free DOX does not effectively upregulate DR5 in tumor tissues nor demonstrate synergy with TRAILPEG in HT-29 xenografts, but rather introduces significant systemic toxicity. Alternatively, when DOX was encapsulated in hyaluronic acid-based nanoparticles (HAC/DOX) and intravenously administered with TRAILPEG, DR-mediated apoptosis was potentiated in HT-29 tumors by upregulating DR5 protein expression by 70% and initiating both extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic pathways with reduced systemic toxicity compared to HAC/DOX or free DOX combined with TRAILPEG (80% vs. 40% survival rate; 75% vs. 34% tumor growth inhibition). This study demonstrates a unique approach to overcome TRAIL-based therapy drawbacks using sequential administration of a tumor-homing TRAIL sensitizer and long-acting TRAILPEG.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Journal of Controlled Release|
|State||Published - 28 Dec 2015|
- Death receptors
- TRAIL sensitizers