pH-responsive polymersome-mediated delivery of doxorubicin

An international team of researchers have developed a polymer-based drug delivery system that could help the current chemotherapy with doxorubicin.  A new study of the Department of Supramolecular Polymer Systems has been published in the Journal of Controlled Release.

The principle of the new polymer system is based on the fact that cancer tumour tissue is slightly more acidic than normal tissue. In a new study, researchers from the IMC used a special polymer-based drug delivery system, named polymersomes, that releases anticancer drug only in specific acidic conditions. “This kind of treatment is called selective drug delivery and it offers a lot of advantages compared to other common methods, such as higher effectiveness and less toxicity,” says Vladimir Sincari from the Department of Supramolecular Polymer Systems (IMC CAS).

Nowadays, there are several challenges in the chemotherapy approach that need to be solved. One of them is that chemotherapy with doxorubicin (one of the most successful chemotherapeutic drugs used in the clinic) is toxic to the heart which limits the effectiveness of the treatment. “In our approach, we are able to substantially decrease the cardiotoxic effects and increase the accumulation of the drug specifically at the tumour. Altogether this turned to cured mice committed with lymphoma tumours,” explains Vladimir Sincari.

In this paper, researchers from the IMC collaborated with the Center for Advanced Preclinical Imaging (CAPI) from the First Faculty of Medicine of Charles University. “We appreciate the approach of Prof. Y. Talmon and his group from Technion Institute from Israel provided valuable information related to the nanomedicine´s size and shape and Prof. F.C. Giacomelli and his group from ABC University, in a similar way, provided valuable information related to the physicochemical characterization of the nanomedicines,” adds Sincari.

This project was ongoing for two years. Researchers from the IMC have previously published similar papers in journals Langmuir and Polymer Chemistry.

The Original Article

Overview of Scientific Publications of the IMC