0508 GMT January 28, 2020
Carcinomas, a type of cancer that affect the lung, prostate, colon and breast, are solid tumors that contain hypoxic or low oxygen regions that cause slow growth and resistance to drug treatment to shrink or kill the tumor, UPI reported.
The team at Oregon State found a way to use a prodrug — a pharmacologically inactive compound that is metabolized by the body into an active drug, to overcome the hypoxia of carcinoma tumors.
Researchers developed two different lipid-based platform formulations called liposomes using the prodrug vinblastine-N-oxide to carry the prodrug to the tumor's hypoxic regions.
This approach proved safe and more effective than the drug delivered without a liposome.
Adam Alani, of the OSU College of Pharmacy, said, "The tumor model we chose, lung cancer, is one of the very well established tumors and there's a very strong hypoxia associated with that — as well as, lung cancer is one of these cancers that in its advanced stages, it's a terminal disease, and there's a need for new treatments.”
In mice models, researchers found the drug without any liposome showed some tumor suppression but mice that received the drug and liposome combination were healthy and tumor-free for nearly 100 days.
Alani added, "The formulations clearly performed better than the unformulated drug as well as much better than Cisplatin, the standard-of-care drug for this research.
"Now we're collaborating with Cascade Prodrug and the College of Veterinary Medicine to assess safety and efficacy in dog models, and trying to look at other tumors, like bladder cancer, associated with dogs."