Effect of Tumor Targeted-Anthracycline Nanomedicine, HPMA Copolymer-Conjugated Pirarubicin (P-THP) against Gynecological Malignancies

Shintaro Yanazume, Jun Fang, Rayhanul Islam, Shanghui Gao, Hiroaki Kobayashi*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Anthracyclines are important for the treatment of gynecological malignancies, but their effects are modest, and one of the major reasons is the lack of a tumor-targeting property. To overcome this drawback, a poly (hydroxypropyl meta-acrylamide) conjugated with tetrahydropyraryl doxorubicin (P-THP) has been developed, which exhibits a highly tumor-specific accumulation owing to the enhanced permeability and retention effect. The effect of P-THP has been confirmed by using various cell lines and solid tumor models, while its effect on gynecological malignancies have not been investigated. In this regard, human uterine sarcoma cell line with metastatic potential MEA-SA C9 high, epithelial ovarian cancer cell line A2780 and its cisplatin-resistant line A2780cis, and DOX-resistant line A2780ADR were used in this study, and the therapeutic effect as well as the safety profiles of P-THP were investigated compared to native THP, cisplatin, and paclitaxel, which are commonly used for gynecological malignancies, both in vitro and in vivo. Similar to native THP, a dose-dependent toxicity of P-THP was identified in all cell lines. Moreover, the IC50 values in the 3 h following P-THP were 1.5−10 times higher than those at 72 h, though the intracellular uptake of P-THP in all cells were 2−10-fold less than THP. In vivo studies using xenograft tumor models revealed that P-THP significantly suppressed the MES-SA C9 high, A2780, and A2780cis tumor growth at the dose of 15 mg/kg (THP equivalent), which is three times above the maximal tolerance dose of native THP, while no body weight loss or acute death occurred. However, in A2780ADR cells and the xenograft model, no significant difference in the therapeutic effect was observed between THP and P-THP, suggesting that P-THP exhibits its effect depending on the release of the active free THP in tumor tissues, and thus the internalization into tumor cells. These findings indicates that P-THP has the potential as a therapeutic for gynecological malignancies to improve the therapeutic outcomes and survival rates of patients, even in refractory patients.
Original languageEnglish
Article number814
JournalJournal of Personalized Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2022


  • pirarubicin
  • P-THP
  • EPR effect
  • nanomedicine
  • drug delivery
  • ovarian cancer
  • uterine sarcoma


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