Chang E, Bu J, Ding L, Lou JWH, Valic MS, Cheng MHY, Rosilio V, Chen J, Zheng G

Journal of Nanobiotechnology

DOI: 10.1186/s12951-021-00898-1

Porphyrin-lipids are versatile building blocks that enable cancer theranostics and have been applied to create several multimodal nanoparticle platforms, including liposome-like porphysome (aqueous-core), porphyrin nanodroplet (liquefied gas-core), and ultrasmall porphyrin lipoproteins. Here, we used porphyrin-lipid to stabilize the water/oil interface to create porphyrin-lipid nanoemulsions with paclitaxel loaded in the oil core (PLNE-PTX), facilitating combination photodynamic therapy (PDT) and chemotherapy in one platform. PTX (3.1 wt%) and porphyrin (18.3 wt%) were loaded efficiently into PLNE-PTX, forming spherical core–shell nanoemulsions with a diameter of 120 nm. PLNE-PTX demonstrated stability in systemic delivery, resulting in high tumor accumulation (~ 5.4 ID %/g) in KB-tumor bearing mice. PLNE-PTX combination therapy inhibited tumor growth (78%) in an additive manner, compared with monotherapy PDT (44%) or chemotherapy (46%) 16 days post-treatment. Furthermore, a fourfold reduced PTX dose (1.8 mg PTX/kg) in PLNE-PTX combination therapy platform demonstrated superior therapeutic efficacy to Taxol at a dose of 7.2 mg PTX/kg, which can reduce side effects. Moreover, the intrinsic fluorescence of PLNE-PTX enabled real-time tracking of nanoparticles to the tumor, which can help inform treatment planning. PLNE-PTX combining PDT and chemotherapy in a single platform enables superior anti-tumor effects and holds potential to reduce side effects associated with monotherapy chemotherapy. The inherent imaging modality of PLNE-PTX enables real-time tracking and permits spatial and temporal regulation to improve cancer treatment.