Monitoring EPR Effect Dynamics during Nanotaxane Treatment with Theranostic Polymeric Micelles

Ilaria Biancacci, Federica De Lorenzi, Benjamin Theek, Xiangyang Bai, Jan-Niklas May, Lorena Consolino, Maike Baues, Diana Moeckel, Felix Gremse, Saskia von Stillfried, Asmaa El Shafei, Karina Benderski, Armin Azadkhah Shalmani, Alec Wang, Jeffrey Momoh, Quim Peña, Eva Miriam Buhl, Johannes Buyel, Wim Hennink, Fabian Kiessling, Josbert Metselaar, Yang Shi, Twan Lammers

Published: 2022


Cancer nanomedicines rely on the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect for efficient target site accumulation. The EPR effect, however, is highly heterogeneous among different tumor types and cancer patients and its extent is expected to dynamically change during the course of nanochemotherapy. Here the authors set out to longitudinally study the dynamics of the EPR effect upon single- and double-dose nanotherapy with fluorophore-labeled and paclitaxel-loaded polymeric micelles. Using computed tomography-fluorescence molecular tomography imaging, it is shown that the extent of nanomedicine tumor accumulation is predictive for therapy outcome. It is also shown that the interindividual heterogeneity in EPR-based tumor accumulation significantly increases during treatment, especially for more efficient double-dose nanotaxane therapy. Furthermore, for double-dose micelle therapy, tumor accumulation significantly increased over time, from 7% injected dose per gram (ID g-1 ) upon the first administration to 15% ID g-1 upon the fifth administration, contributing to more efficient inhibition of tumor growth. These findings shed light on the dynamics of the EPR effect during nanomedicine treatment and they exemplify the importance of using imaging in nanomedicine treatment prediction and clinical translation.

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