The aim of this study was to prepare PCL-PEG-PCL (PCEC) microspheres to protect camptothecin from hydrolysis, to extend its release time and to enhance its treatment efficacy on colorectal peritoneal carcinomatosis and tumor growth in mice. Camptothecin (CPT)-loaded PCL-PEG-PCL (PCEC) microspheres were prepared by oil-in-water emulsion solvent evaporation method. The particle size, morphological characteristics, encapsulation efficiency, in vitro drug release studies and in vitro cytotoxicity of CPT-loaded PCEC microspheres have been investigated. In vivo studies were carried out on Balb/c male mice bearing colorectal peritoneal carcinomatosis. CPT-loaded PCEC microspheres were applied to abdominal cavity of mice once a week. Free CPT was used as a positive control. On 14th day of treatment, mice were sacrificed and antitumor activities of CPT-loaded PCEC microspheres were evaluated. Compared with control group, a significant decrease in the number of tumor nodes was observed in group treated with CPT-loaded PCEC microspheres. Immunohistochemistry staining of tumor tissues with CD34 revealed that MVD positive cells were significantly reduced in CPT-loaded PCEC microspheres treated group in contrast to other groups (P<0.05). The CPT-loaded PCEC microspheres were considered potentially useful to treat the abdominal metastases of colon carcinoma.
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