ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-210109-22
A triple-drug nanotherapy to target breast cancer cells, cancer stem cells, and tumor vasculature
El-Sahli, S., Hua, K., Sulaiman, A., Chambers, J., Li, L., Farah, E., McGarry, S., Liu, D., Zheng, P., Lee, S.H., Cui, J., Ekker, M., Côté, M., Alain, T., Li, X., D'Costa, V.M., Wang, L., Gadde, S.
Date: 2021
Source: Cell Death & Disease   12: 8 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Ekker, Marc
Keywords: none
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis/drug effects
  • Bibenzyls/pharmacology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation/drug effects
  • Cell Survival/drug effects
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mice, Nude
  • Nanoparticles/therapeutic use*
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells
  • Paclitaxel/pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms/drug therapy*
  • Verteporfin/pharmacology*
  • Zebrafish
PubMed: 33414428 Full text @ Cell Death Dis.
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the most aggressive subtype of breast cancer, accounting for the majority of breast cancer-related death. Due to the lack of specific therapeutic targets, chemotherapeutic agents (e.g., paclitaxel) remain the mainstay of systemic treatment, but enrich a subpopulation of cells with tumor-initiating capacity and stem-like characteristics called cancer stem cells (CSCs); thus development of a new and effective strategy for TNBC treatment is an unmet medical need. Cancer nanomedicine has transformed the landscape of cancer drug development, allowing for a high therapeutic index. In this study, we developed a new therapy by co-encapsulating clinically approved drugs, such as paclitaxel, verteporfin, and combretastatin (CA4) in polymer-lipid hybrid nanoparticles (NPs) made of FDA-approved biomaterials. Verteporfin is a drug used in the treatment of macular degeneration and has recently been found to inhibit the Hippo/YAP (Yes-associated protein) pathway, which is known to promote the progression of breast cancer and the development of CSCs. CA4 is a vascular disrupting agent and has been tested in phase II/III of clinical trials. We found that our new three drug-NP not only effectively inhibited TNBC cell viability and cell migration, but also significantly diminished paclitaxel-induced and/or CA4-induced CSC enrichment in TNBC cells, partially through inhibiting the upregulated Hippo/YAP signaling. Combination of verteporfin and CA4 was also more effective in suppressing angiogenesis in an in vivo zebrafish model than single drug alone. The efficacy and application potential of our triple drug-NPs were further assessed by using clinically relevant patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models. Triple drug-NP effectively inhibited the viability of PDX organotypic slide cultures ex vivo and stopped the growth of PDX tumors in vivo. This study developed an approach capable of simultaneously inhibiting bulk cancer cells, CSCs, and angiogenesis.