Blockage of blood supply while administering chemotherapy to tumors, using trans-arterial chemoembolization (TACE), is the most common treatment for intermediate and advanced-stage unresectable Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, HCC is characterized by a poor prognosis and high recurrence rates (≈30%), partly due to a hypoxic pro-angiogenic and pro-cancerous microenvironment. This study investigates how modifying tissue stress while improving drug exposure in target organs may maximize the therapeutic outcomes. Porous degradable polymeric microspheres (MS) are designed to obtain a gradual occlusion of the hepatic artery that nourishes the liver, while enabling efficient drug perfusion to the tumor site. The fabricated porous MS are introduced intrahepatically and designed to release a combination therapy of Doxorubicin (DOX) and Tirapazamine (TPZ), which is a hypoxia-activated prodrug. Liver cancer cell lines that are treated with the combination therapy under hypoxia reveal a synergic anti-proliferation effect. An orthotopic liver cancer model, based on N1-S1 hepatoma in rats, is used for the efficacy, biodistribution, and safety studies. Porous DOX-TPZ MS are very effective in suppressing tumor growth in rats, and induction tissue necrosis is associated with high intratumor drug concentrations. Porous particles without drugs show some advantages over nonporous particles, suggesting that morphology may affect the treatment outcomes.
- hepatocellular carcinoma
- poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)
- trans-arterial chemoembolization
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Pharmaceutical Science