177Lu-Bombesin-PLGA (paclitaxel): A targeted controlled-release nanomedicine for bimodal therapy of breast cancer

Brenda Gibbens-Bandala, Enrique Morales-Avila, Guillermina Ferro-Flores, Clara Santos-Cuevas, Laura Meléndez-Alafort, Maydelid Trujillo-Nolasco, Blanca Ocampo-García

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRPr) is overexpressed in >75% of breast cancers. 177Lu-Bombesin (177Lu-BN) has demonstrated the ability to target GRPr and facilitate efficient delivery of therapeutic radiation doses to malignant cells. Poly(d,l‑lactide‑co‑glycolide) acid (PLGA) nanoparticles can work as smart drug controlled-release systems activated through pH changes. Considering that paclitaxel (PTX) is a first-line drug for cancer treatment, this work aimed to synthesize and chemically characterize a novel polymeric PTX-loaded nanosystem with grafted 177Lu-BN and to evaluate its performance as a targeted controlled-release nanomedicine for concomitant radiotherapy and chemotherapy of breast cancer. PLGA(PTX) nanoparticles were synthesized using the single emulsification-solvent evaporation method with PVA as a stabilizer in the presence of PTX. Thereafter, the activation of PLGA carboxylic groups for BN attachment through the Lys1-amine group was performed. Results of the chemical characterization by FT-IR, DLS, HPLC and SEM/TEM demonstrated the successful synthesis of BN-PLGA(PTX) with a hydrodynamic diameter of 163.54 ± 33.25 nm. The entrapment efficiency of paclitaxel was 92.8 ± 3.6%. The nanosystem showed an adequate controlled release of the anticancer drug, which increased significantly due to the pH change from neutral (pH = 7.4) to acidic conditions (pH = 5.3). After labeling with 177Lu and purification by ultrafiltration, 177Lu-BN-PLGA(PTX) was obtained with a radiochemical purity of 99 ± 1%. In vitro and in vivo studies using MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells (GRPr-positive) demonstrated a 177Lu-BN-PLGA(PTX) specific uptake and a significantly higher cytotoxic effect for the radiolabeled nanosystem than the unlabeled BN-PLGA(PTX) nanoparticles. Using a pulmonary micrometastasis MDA-MB-231 model, the added value of 177Lu-BN-PLGA(PTX) for tumor imaging was confirmed. The 177Lu-BN-PLGA(PTX) nanomedicine is suitable as a targeted paclitaxel delivery system with concomitant radiotherapeutic effect for the treatment of GRPr-positive breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110043
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


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