Anti-tumor effect via passive anti-angiogenesis of PEGylated liposomes encapsulating doxorubicin in drug resistant tumors

Golam Kibria, Hiroto Hatakeyama, Yusuke Sato, Hideyoshi Harashima*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The PEGylated liposomal (PEG-LP) Doxorubicin, PEG-LP (DOX), with a diameter of around 100 nm, accumulates in tumors via the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect, and is used clinically for the treatment of several types of cancer. However, there are a number of tumor types that are resistant to DOX. We report herein on a unique anti-tumor effect of PEG-LP (DOX) in a DOX-resistant tumor xenograft model. PEG-LP (DOX) failed to suppress the growth of the DOX-resistant tumors (ex. non-small cell lung cancer, H69AR; renal cell carcinoma, OSRC-2) as observed in the xenograft model. Unexpectedly, tumor growth was suppressed in a DOX-resistant breast cancer (MDA-MB-231) xenograft model. We investigated the mechanism by which PEG-LP (DOX) responses differ in different drug resistant tumors. In hyperpermeable OSRC-2 tumors, PEG-LP was distributed to deep tumor tissues, where it delivers DOX to drug-resistant tumor cells. In contrast, extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules such as collagen, pericytes, cancer-associated fibroblasts render MDA-MB-231 tumors hypopermeable, which limits the extent of the penetration and distribution of PEG-LP, thereby enhancing the delivery of DOX to the vicinity of the tumor vasculature. Therefore, a remarkable anti-angiogenic effect with a preferential suppression in tumor growth is achieved. Based on the above findings, it appears that the response of PEG-LP (DOX) to drug-resistant tumors results from differences in the tumor microenvironment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-187
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 25 2016


  • Anti-tumor effect
  • Doxil
  • Drug-resistant cancer
  • PEGylated liposome
  • Passive anti-angiogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Anti-tumor effect via passive anti-angiogenesis of PEGylated liposomes encapsulating doxorubicin in drug resistant tumors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this