Paclitaxel (Taxol) has demonstrated clinical activity in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but its use has not led to marked improvements in survival. This ineffectiveness can in part be attributed to inadequate delivery of effective drug levels to the lung via systemic administration and to drug resistance mechanisms. Locoregional drug administration and the use of drug copolymers are possible approaches to address these issues. In this study, we evaluated the activity of a poly(L-glutamic acid)-paclitaxel (PGA-TXL) formulation administered by intratracheal injection to mice bearing orthotopic human NSCLC tumors (H460, H358). H460 cells were found to be sensitive to paclitaxel and PGA-TXL in vitro, in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. In preliminary acute toxicity studies, PGA-TXL administered by intratracheal injection was found to be much less toxic than paclitaxel, as anticipated. Mice into which H460 cells had been implanted by intratracheal injection were given single-dose intratracheal treatments with paclitaxel (1.2 or 2.4 mg/kg) or with PGA-TXL (15 mg/kg, paclitaxel equivalents) 1 week later. When the mice were sacrificed at up to 65 days after tumor implantation, they were evaluated grossly for tumor at bronchial, neck, and lung sites. Control mice had tumors in 60% of all three sites, and all of the control mice had tumors in at least one site. The low- and high-dose Taxol groups had fewer incidences at these three sites (27-33%) and 60-80% of these mice had tumors in at least one site. The PGA-TXL mice displayed a low (13%) incidence at these sites, and only 40% had detectable tumors. In a subsequent survival study with the intratracheal H358 model, control mice had a mean life span of 95 days, whereas both the intratracheal Taxol (2.5 mg/kg, every 7th day for three doses) and the intratracheal PGA-TXL (20 mg/kg, paclitaxel equivalents, every 7th day for three doses) groups had improved survival (mean life spans: 133.5 and 136.5 days, respectively). In pilot studies intended to compare the feasibility of the development of paclitaxel aerosols suitable for clinical application, based either on Cremophor solutions or on PGA backbones, only the latter gave acceptable particle size distributions and flow rates. These results encourage the development and application of Cremophor-free copolymer formulations of paclitaxel for locoregional treatment (e.g., as aerosol) of endobronchial malignant diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research