Radiotherapy-Controllable Chemotherapy from Reactive Oxygen Species-Responsive Polymeric Nanoparticles for Effective Local Dual Modality Treatment of Malignant Tumors

Te I. Liu, Ying Chieh Yang, Wen Hsuan Chiang, Chun Kai Hung, Yuan Chung Tsai, Chi Shiun Chiang, Chun Liang Lo, Hsin Cheng Chiu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Radiotherapy is one of the general approaches to deal with malignant solid tumors in clinical treatment. To improve therapeutic efficacy, chemotherapy is frequently adopted as the adjuvant treatment in combination with radiotherapy. In this work, a reactive oxygen species (ROS)-responsive nanoparticle (NP) drug delivery system was developed to synergistically enhance the antitumor efficacy of radiotherapy by local ROS-activated chemotherapy, taking advantages of the enhanced concentration of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in tumor during X-ray irradiation and/or reoxygenation after X-ray irradiation. The ROS-responsive polymers, poly(thiodiethylene adipate) (PSDEA) and PEG-PSDEA-PEG, were synthesized and employed as the major components assembling in aqueous phase into polymer NPs in which an anticancer camptothecin analogue, SN38, was encapsulated. The drug-loaded NPs underwent structural change including swelling and partial dissociation in response to the ROS activation by virtue of the oxidation of the nonpolar sulfide residues in NPs into the polar sulfoxide units, thus leading to significant drug unloading. The in vitro performance of the chemotherapy from the X-ray irradiation preactivated NPs against BNL 1MEA.7R.1 murine carcinoma cells showed comparable cytotoxicity to free drug and appreciably enhanced effect on killing cancer cells while the X-ray irradiation being incorporated into the treatment. The in vivo tumor growth was fully inhibited with the mice receiving the local dual modality treatment of X-ray irradiation together with SN38-loaded NPs administered by intratumoral injection. The comparable efficacy of the local combinational treatment of X-ray irradiation with SN38-loaded NPs to free SN38/irradiation dual treatment corroborated the effectiveness of ROS-mediated drug release from the irradiated NPs at tumor site. The IHC examination of tumor tissues confirmed the significant reduction of VEGFA and CD31 expression with the tumor receiving the local dual treatment developed in this work, thus accounting for the absence of tumor regrowth compared to other single modality treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3825-3839
Number of pages15
Issue number9
StatePublished - 10 Sep 2018


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