Chemoradiation-resistant cancers limit treatment efficacy and safety. We show here the cancer cell-specific, on-demand intracellular amplification of chemotherapy and chemoradiation therapy via gold nanoparticle- and laser pulse-induced mechanical intracellular impact. Cancer aggressiveness promotes the clustering of drug nanocarriers and gold nanoparticles in cancer cells. This cluster, upon exposure to a laser pulse, generates a plasmonic nanobubble, the mechanical explosion that destroys the host cancer cell or ejects the drug into its cytoplasm by disrupting the liposome and endosome. The same cluster locally amplifies external X-rays. Intracellular synergy of the mechanical impact of plasmonic nanobubble, ejected drug and amplified X-rays improves the efficacy of standard chemoradiation in resistant and aggressive head and neck cancer by 100-fold in vitro and 17-fold in vivo, reduces the effective entry doses of drugs and X-rays to 2-6% of their clinical doses and efficiently spares normal cells. The developed quadrapeutics technology combines four clinically validated components and transforms a standard macrotherapy into an intracellular on-demand theranostic microtreatment with radically amplified therapeutic efficacy and specificity.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the United States, with a low 5-year survival rate despite improved treatment strategies. These data underscore the great need for effective chemoprevention of this cancer. Mutations and activation of KRAS occur frequently in, and are thought to be a primary driver of the development of, non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) of the adenocarcinoma subtype. In this study, we developed a new approach for the chemoprevention of NSCLC involving specific targeting of apoptosis in mutant KRAS cells. This approach is based on a synthetic lethal interaction among TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), the second mitochondria-derived activator of caspase Smac/DIABLO (Smac), and KRAS. Mutational activation of KRAS modulated the expression of TRAIL receptors by upregulating death receptors and downregulating decoy receptors. Furthermore, oncogenic KRAS repressed cellular FADD-like interleukin 1?-converting enzyme (FLICE)-like inhibitory protein (c-FLIP) expression through activation of Erk/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)-mediated activation of c-Myc. Smac overcame KRAS-induced cell-survival signaling by antagonizing X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP). Therefore, the combination of TRAIL and a small molecule mimic of Smac induced apoptosis specifically in mutant KRAS cells without harming normal cells. We further showed that short-term, intermittent in vivo treatment with TRAIL and Smac mimic induced apoptosis in tumor cells and reduced tumor burden in a murine model of KRAS-induced lung cancer. These results reflect the potential benefit of a selective therapeutic approach for the chemoprevention of NSCLC.
Cancer chemoprevention uses natural, synthetic, or biological substances to reverse, suppress, or prevent either the initial phase of carcinogenesis or the progression of neoplastic cells to cancer. It holds promise for overcoming problems associated with the treatment of late-stage cancers. However, the broad application of chemoprevention is compromised at present by limited effectiveness and potential toxicity. To overcome these challenges, here we developed a new chemoprevention approach that specifically targets premalignant tumour cells for apoptosis. We show that a deficiency in the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene and subsequent activation of beta-catenin lead to the repression of cellular caspase-8 inhibitor c-FLIP (also known as CFLAR) expression through activation of c-Myc, and that all-trans-retinyl acetate (RAc) independently upregulates tumour necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) death receptors and suppresses decoy receptors. Thus, the combination of TRAIL and RAc induces apoptosis in APC-deficient premalignant cells without affecting normal cells in vitro. In addition, we show that short-term and non-continuous TRAIL and RAc treatment induce apoptosis specifically in intestinal polyps, strongly inhibit tumour growth, and prolong survival in multiple intestinal neoplasms C57BL/6J-Apc(Min)/J (Apc(Min)) mice. With our approach, we further demonstrate that TRAIL and RAc induce significant cell death in human colon polyps, providing a potentially selective approach for colorectal cancer chemoprevention by targeting APC-deficient cells for apoptosis.
The resistance of residual cancer cells after oncological resection to adjuvant chemoradiotherapies results in both high recurrence rates and high non-specific tissue toxicity, thus preventing the successful treatment of such cancers as head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). The patients survival rate and quality of life therefore depend upon the efficacy, selectivity and low non-specific toxicity of the adjuvant treatment. We report a novel, theranostic in vivo technology that unites both the acoustic diagnostics and guided intracellular delivery of anti-tumor drug (liposome-encapsulated doxorubicin, Doxil) in one rapid process, namely a pulsed laser-activated plasmonic nanobubble (PNB). HNSCC-bearing mice were treated with gold nanoparticle conjugates, Doxil, and single near-infrared laser pulses of low energy. Tumor-specific clusters of gold nanoparticles (solid gold spheres) converted the optical pulses into localized PNBs. The acoustic signals of the PNB detected the tumor with high specificity and sensitivity. The mechanical impact of the PNB, co-localized with Doxil liposomes, selectively ejected the drug into the cytoplasm of cancer cells. Cancer cell-specific generation of PNBs and their intracellular co-localization with Doxil improved the in vivo therapeutic efficacy from 5-7% for administration of only Doxil or PNBs alone to 90% thus demonstrating the synergistic therapeutic effect of the PNB-based intracellular drug release. This mechanism also reduced the non-specific toxicity of Doxil below a detectable level and the treatment time to less than one minute. Thus PNBs combine highly sensitive diagnosis, overcome drug resistance and minimize non-specific toxicity in a single rapid theranostic procedure for intra-operative treatment.
The limited specificity of nanoparticle (NP) uptake by target cells associated with a disease is one of the principal challenges of nanomedicine. Using the threshold mechanism of plasmonic nanobubble (PNB) generation and enhanced accumulation and clustering of gold nanoparticles in target cells, we increased the specificity of PNB generation and detection in target versus non-target cells by more than one order of magnitude compared to the specificity of NP uptake by the same cells. This improved cellular specificity of PNBs was demonstrated in six different cell models representing diverse molecular targets such as epidermal growth factor receptor, CD3 receptor, prostate specific membrane antigen and mucin molecule MUC1. Thus PNBs may be a universal method and nano-agent that overcome the problem of non-specific uptake of NPs by non-target cells and improve the specificity of NP-based diagnostics, therapeutics and theranostics at the cell level.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.