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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Epidermal growth factor receptor-targeted immunoliposomes significantly enhance the efficacy of multiple anticancer drugs in vivo.

We previously reported the development of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-targeted immunoliposomes that bind and internalize in tumor cells which overexpress EGFR and/or mutant EGFR variant III (EGFRvIII), enabling intracellular delivery of potent anticancer agents in vitro. We now describe in vivo proof-of-concept for this approach for the delivery of multiple anticancer drugs in EGFR-overexpressing tumor models. Anti-EGFR immunoliposomes were constructed modularly with Fab' fragments of cetuximab (IMC-C225), covalently linked to liposomes containing probes and/or anticancer drugs. Pharmacokinetic and biodistribution studies confirmed long circulation times (t(1/2) = 21 hours) and efficient accumulation in tumors (up to 15% ID/g) irrespective of the presence of the targeting ligand. Although total accumulations of anti-EGFR immunoliposomes and nontargeted liposomes in EGFR-overexpressing tumors were comparable, only immunoliposomes internalized extensively within tumor cells (92% of analyzed cells versus <5% for nontargeted liposomes), indicating different mechanisms of delivery at the cellular level. In vivo therapy studies in a series of xenograft models featuring overexpression of EGFR and/or EGFRvIII showed the superiority of immunoliposomal delivery of encapsulated drugs, which included doxorubicin, epirubicin, and vinorelbine. For each of these drugs, anti-EGFR immunoliposome delivery showed significant antitumor effects and was significantly superior to all other treatments, including the corresponding free or liposomal drug (P < 0.001-0.003). We conclude that anti-EGFR immunoliposomes provide efficient and targeted drug delivery of anticancer compounds and may represent a useful new treatment approach for tumors that overexpress the EGFR.[1]


  1. Epidermal growth factor receptor-targeted immunoliposomes significantly enhance the efficacy of multiple anticancer drugs in vivo. Mamot, C., Drummond, D.C., Noble, C.O., Kallab, V., Guo, Z., Hong, K., Kirpotin, D.B., Park, J.W. Cancer Res. (2005) [Pubmed]
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