Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a common and fatal form of hematopoietic malignancy. Overexpression and/or mutations of FLT3 have been shown to occur in the majority of cases of AML. Our analysis of a large-scale AML patient cohort (N = 562) indicates that FLT3 is particularly highly expressed in some subtypes of AML, such as AML with t(11q23)/MLL-rearrangements or FLT3-ITD. Such AML subtypes are known to be associated with unfavorable prognosis. To treat FLT3-overexpressing AML, we developed a novel targeted nanoparticle system: FLT3 ligand (FLT3L)-conjugated G7 poly(amidoamine) (PAMAM) nanosized dendriplex encapsulating miR-150, a pivotal tumor suppressor and negative regulator of FLT3 We show that the FLT3L-guided miR-150 nanoparticles selectively and efficiently target FLT3-overexpressing AML cells and significantly inhibit viability/growth and promote apoptosis of the AML cells. Our proof-of-concept animal model studies demonstrate that the FLT3L-guided miR-150 nanoparticles tend to concentrate in bone marrow, and significantly inhibit progression of FLT3-overexpressing AML in vivo, while exhibiting no obvious side effects on normal hematopoiesis. Collectively, we have developed a novel targeted therapeutic strategy, using FLT3L-guided miR-150-based nanoparticles, to treat FLT3-overexpressing AML with high efficacy and minimal side effects. Cancer Res; 76(15); 4470-80. ©2016 AACR.
©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.