Personalised nanomedicine is an advancing field which has developed significant improvements for targeting therapeutics to aggressive cancer and with fewer side effects. The treatment of gliomas such as glioblastoma (or other brain tumours), with nanomedicine is complicated by a commonly poor accumulation of drugs in tumour tissue owing to the partially intact blood-brain barrier (BBB). Nonetheless, the BBB becomes compromised following surgical intervention, and gradually with disease progression. Increased vasculature permeability generated by a tumour, combined with decreased BBB integrity, offers a mechanism to enhance therapeutic outcomes. We monitored a spontaneous glioma tumour model in immunocompetent mice with ongoing T2-weighted and contrast-enhanced T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging gradient echo and spin echo sequences to predict an optimal “leakiness” stage for nanomedicine injections. To ascertain the effectiveness of targeted nanomedicines in treating brain tumours, subsequent systemic administration of targeted hyperbranched polymers was then utislised, to deliver the therapeutic payload when both the tumour and brain vascularity had become sufficiently susceptible to allow drug accumulation. Treatment with either doxorubicin-loaded hyperbranched polymer, or the same nanomedicine targeted to an ephrin receptor (EphA2) using a bispecific antibody, resulted in uptake of chemotherapeutic doxorubicin in the tumour and in reduced tumour growth. Compared to vehicle and doxorubicin only, nanoparticle delivered doxorubicin resulted in increased tumour apoptosis, while averting cardiotoxicity. This suggests that polyethylene based (PEGylated)-nanoparticle delivered doxorubicin could provide a more efficient treatment in tumours with a disrupted BBB, and that treatment should commence immediately following detection of gadolinium permeability, with early detection and ongoing ‘leakiness’ monitoring in susceptible patients being a key factor.
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