Combined chemotherapy and photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a promising strategy to enhance the anticancer efficacy of both drugs via combination effects. In this work, doxorubicin (DOX)-loaded pheophorbide A (PheoA)-modified Pluronic F127 (F127) micelles (DOX/F127-PheoA micelles) were developed for combined chemo-photodynamic therapy of melanoma. DOX/F127-PheoA micelles were characterized in terms of size and size distribution, zeta potential, surface morphology, drug loading efficiency, and drug-releasing properties. It was observed that the DOX/F127-PheoA micelles were spherical, with a mean particle size of 146.5 nm and a zeta potential of -3.2 mV. Confocal laser scanning microscopy showed that DOX/F127-PheoA micelles were internalized by B16 melanoma cells and capable of dual-delivery of both DOX and PheoA into tumor cells. Upon light irradiation, DOX/F127-PheoA micelles could generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) both in vitro and in vivo. The in vitro cytotoxic activity of DOX/F127-PheoA micelles in B16 melanoma cells were evaluated by CCK-8 assay. In vivo antitumor efficacy was also assessed using C57 mice bearing B16 tumors, and the DOX/F127-PheoA micelles were administrated intravenously. Under light irradiation, DOX/F127-PheoA micelles significantly inhibited tumor growth compared with free DOX and DOX/F127-PheoA micelles without light irradiation. The mean tumor growth inhibition rate of DOX/F127-PheoA micelles with light irradiation was 73.5%, compared with 42.3% for DOX/F127-PheoA micelles without light irradiation and 26.5% for free DOX. These results suggest that DOX/F127-PheoA micelles are a versatile and effective drug delivery system for combinational chemo-photodynamic therapy against melanoma.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21604095, 31670977, 50803029, 51473080); the Science and Technology Support Program of Tianjin (14RCGFSY00146); the Natural Science Foundation of Tianjin (14JCZDJC33300); the Program for Innovative Research Team in Peking Union Medical College; CAMS Initiative for Innovative Medicine (2017-I2M-3-022).
© 2018 The Royal Society of Chemistry.