Cabozantinib Unlocks Efficient In Vivo Targeted Delivery Of Neutrophil-Loaded Nanoparticles Into Murine Prostate Tumors


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A major barrier to the successful application of nanotechnology for cancer treatment is the suboptimal delivery of therapeutic payloads to metastatic tumor deposits. We previously discovered that cabozantinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, triggers neutrophilmediated anticancer innate immunity, resulting in tumor regression in an aggressive PTEN/p53-deficient genetically engineered murine model of advanced prostate cancer. Here, we specifically investigated the potential of cabozantinib-induced neutrophil activation and recruitment to enhance delivery of BSA-coated polymeric nanoparticles (BSA-NPs) into murine PTEN/p53-deficient prostate tumors. On the basis of the observation that BSA coating of NPs enhanced association and internalization by activated neutrophils by approximately 6-fold in vitro, relative to uncoated NPs, we systemically injected BSA-coated, dye-loaded NPs into prostate-specific PTEN/p53-deficient mice that were pretreated with cabozantinib. Flow cytometric analysis revealed an approximately 4-fold increase of neutrophil-associated BSA-NPs and an approximately 32-fold increase in mean fluorescent dye uptake following 3 days of cabozantinib/BSA-NP administration, relative to BSA-NP alone. Strikingly, neutrophil depletion with Ly6G antibody abolished dye-loaded BSA-NP accumulation within tumors to baseline levels, demonstrating targeted neutrophilmediated intratumoral NP delivery. Furthermore, we observed an approximately 13-fold decrease in accumulation of BSA-NPs in the liver, relative to uncoated NPs, post-cabozantinib treatment, suggesting that BSA coating of NPs can significantly enhance cabozantinib-induced, neutrophil-mediated targeted intratumoral drug delivery, while mitigating off-target toxicity. Collectively, we demonstrate a novel targeted nanoimmunotherapeutic strategy for enhanced intratumoral delivery of BSA-NPs, with translational potential to significantly augment therapeutic indices of cancer medicines, thereby overcoming current pharmacologic barriers commonly encountered in preclinical/early-phase drug development.
nanoparticles,cabozantinib,neutrophils,tumor microenvironment,prostate cancer
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