Background and purpose: Phospho-ibuprofen (P-I; MDC-917) inhibits the growth of colon cancer in mice. Here, we investigated the use of nanocarriers to improve its pharmacokinetics (PKs) and anti tumour efficacy.
Experimental approach: The cellular uptake and cytotoxicity of P-I encapsulated into liposomes and micelles, and its in vitro metabolic stability, were determined in cultures of human colon adenocarcinoma cells. The performance of liposomal P-I was further evaluated in PK studies in mice, and in a model of colon cancer xenografts in nude mice.
Key results: Liposomal P-I and micellar P-I showed significantly enhanced cellular uptake in the colon cancer cells. Liposomal P-I also demonstrated increased cytotoxicity in vitro. Free P-I was metabolized rapidly to ibuprofen in the presence of purified esterases. In contrast, liposomal P-I, and to a lesser extent micellar P-I, was resistant to esterase-mediated hydrolysis. In mice, liposomal P-I partially protected P-I from hydrolysis in the circulation, and improved the biodistribution of intact P-I and its metabolites compared to free P-I. Liposomal P-I was more effective at inhibiting the growth of human colon cancer xenografts in mice, which may be explained on the basis of its improved PK profile compared to free P-I.
Conclusions and implications: Liposome encapsulation of P-I partially protected P-I from esterase-mediated hydrolysis in mice, enhanced the cytotoxicity and bioavailability of P-I and increased its efficacy at inhibiting the growth of human colon cancer xenografts. These results indicate that liposomes are suitable nanocarriers for the delivery of P-I, and that the anti-tumour potential of liposomal P-I merits further evaluation.
© 2011 The Authors. British Journal of Pharmacology © 2011 The British Pharmacological Society.