Immunoliposomal fenretinide: A novel antitumoral drug for human neuroblastoma

L. Raffaghello, G. Pagnan, F. Pastorino, E. Cosimo, C. Brignole, D. Marimpietri, E. Bogenmann, M. Ponzoni, P. G. Montaldo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common extracranial solid tumor of childhood. In advanced disease stages, prognosis is poor and treatments have limited efficacy, thus novel strategies are warranted. The synthetic retinoid fenretinide (HPR) induces apoptosis in NB and melanoma cell lines. We reported an in vitro potentiation of HPR effects on melanoma cells when the drug is incorporated into GD2-targeted immunoliposomes (anti-GD2-SIL-HPR). Here, we investigated the antitumor activity of anti-GD2-SIL-HPR against NB cells, both in vitro and in vivo. Anti-GD2-immunoliposomes (anti-GD2-SIL) showed specific, competitive binding to, and uptake by, various NB cell lines. Moreover, anti-GD2-SIL-HPR presented increased selectivity and efficacy in inhibiting NB cell proliferation through the induction of apoptosis, compared to free drug and SL-HPR. In an in vivo NB metastatic model, we demonstrated that anti-GD2-SIL-HPR completely inhibited the development of macroscopic and microscopic metastases in comparison to controls. However, similar, but significantly less potent antitumor effect was observed also in mice treated with anti-GD2 immunoliposomes without HPR (anti-GD2-SIL-blank) or anti-GD2 mAb alone (P=0.0297 and P=0.0294, respectively, vs. anti-GD2-SIL-HPR). Moreover, our results clearly demonstrated that, although anti-GD2 mAb had a strong antitumor effect in this in vivo NB model, 100% curability was obtained only following treatment with anti-GD2-SIL-HPR (P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-155
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 18 2003


  • Adjuvant therapy
  • Anti-GD2
  • Apoptosis
  • Fenretinide
  • Immunolipsomes
  • Liposomes
  • Metastasis
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Retinoid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Molecular Biology
  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'Immunoliposomal fenretinide: A novel antitumoral drug for human neuroblastoma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this