John Garner

PLGA from PolySciTech used in development of liposome brain-cancer therapy

Blog Post created by John Garner on Jul 1, 2019

Lakkadawala 2019 glioblastoma PLGA polyscitech

Treating brain cancer is not a trivial matter as even getting medicine across the blood-brain-barrier (BBB) is difficult. One method of crossing this barrier to treat cance is to rely on transferrin signaling. Recently, researchers from North Dakota State University used PLGA (AP022) from PolySciTech ( as part of research into liposomal treatement of glioblastoma by using transferrin-penetratin to cross the BBB. This research holds promise to treat this often fatal disease. Read more: Lakkadwala, Sushant, Bruna dos Santos Rodrigues, Chengwen Sun, and Jagdish Singh. "Dual functionalized liposomes for efficient co-delivery of anti-cancer chemotherapeutics for the treatment of glioblastoma." Journal of Controlled Release (2019).


“Highlights: Transferrin-Penetratin (Tf-Pen) liposomes were prepared by post-insertion method. Tf-Pen liposomes showed excellent biocompatibility for in vivo administration. Higher translocation of Tf-Pen liposomes across the co-culture endothelial barrier. Several fold increase in the concentration of anticancer drugs in mice brain. Increase in survival time and regression in glioblastoma tumor in mice brain. Abstract: Glioblastoma is a hostile brain tumor associated with high infiltration leading to poor prognosis. Anti-cancer chemotherapeutic agents have limited access into the brain due to the presence of the blood brain barrier (BBB). In this study, we designed a dual functionalized liposomal delivery system, surface modified with transferrin (Tf) for receptor mediated transcytosis and a cell penetrating peptide-penetratin (Pen) for enhanced cell penetration. We loaded doxorubicin and erlotinib into liposomes to enhance their translocation across the BBB to glioblastoma tumor. In vitro cytotoxicity and hemocompatibility studies demonstrated excellent biocompatibility for in vivo administration. Co-delivery of doxorubicin and erlotinib loaded Tf-Pen liposomes revealed significantly (p < 0.05) higher translocation (~15%) across the co-culture endothelial barrier resulting in regression of tumor in the in vitro brain tumor model. The biodistribution of Tf-Pen liposomes demonstrated ~12 and 3.3 fold increase in doxorubicin and erlotinib accumulation in mice brain, respectively compared to free drugs. In addition, Tf-Pen liposomes showed excellent antitumor efficacy by regressing ~90% of tumor in mice brain with significant increase in the median survival time (36 days) along with no toxicity. Thus, we believe that this study would have high impact for treating patients with glioblastoma.”

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