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Geretti E.,Merrimack Pharmaceutical Inc. | Leonard S.C.,Merrimack Pharmaceutical Inc. | Dumont N.,Merrimack Pharmaceutical Inc. | Lee H.,Merrimack Pharmaceutical Inc. | And 9 more authors.
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics | Year: 2015

Given the bulky nature of nanotherapeutics relative to small molecules, it is hypothesized that effective tumor delivery and penetration are critical barriers to their clinical activity. HER2-targeted PEGylated liposomal doxorubicin (MM-302, HER2-tPLD) is an antibody-liposomal drug conjugate designed to deliver doxorubicin to HER2-overexpressing cancer cells while limiting uptake into nontarget cells. In this work, we demonstrate that the administration and appropriate dose sequencing of cyclophosphamide can improve subsequent MM-302 delivery and enhance antitumor activity in preclinical models without negatively affecting nontarget tissues, such as the heart and skin. We demonstrate that this effect is critically dependent on the timing of cyclophosphamide administration. Furthermore, the effect was found to be unique to cyclophosphamide and related analogues, and not shared by other agents, such as taxanes or eribulin, under the conditions examined. Analysis of the cyclophosphamide-treated tumors suggests that the mechanism for improved MM-302 delivery involves the induction of tumor cell apoptosis, reduction of overall tumor cell density, substantial lowering of interstitial fluid pressure, and increasing vascular perfusion. The novel dosing strategy for cyclophosphamide described herein is readily translatable to standard clinical regimens, represents a potentially significant advance in addressing the drug delivery challenge, and may have broad applicability for nanomedicines. This work formed the basis for clinical evaluation of cyclophosphamide for improving liposome deposition as part of an ongoing phase I clinical trial of MM-302 in HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. ©2015 AACR.

Mahmood J.,Ontario Cancer Institute | Mahmood J.,Sttarr Inc. | Jelveh S.,Sttarr Inc. | Zaidi A.,Ontario Cancer Institute | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics | Year: 2014

Purpose To investigate the outcome of suppression of the renin angiotensin system using captopril combined with an antioxidant (Eukarion [EUK]-207) for mitigation of radiation-induced lung damage in rats. Methods and Materials The thoracic cavity of female Sprague-Dawley rats was irradiated with a single dose of 11 Gy. Treatment with captopril at a dose of 40 mg/kg/d in drinking water and EUK-207 given by subcutaneous injection (8 mg/kg daily) was started 1 week after irradiation (PI) and continuing until 14 weeks PI. Breathing rate was monitored until the rats were killed at 32 weeks PI, when lung fibrosis was assessed by lung hydroxyproline content. Lung levels of the cytokine transforming growth factor-β1 and macrophage activation were analyzed by immunohistochemistry. Oxidative DNA damage was assessed by 8-hydroxy-2- deoxyguanosine levels, and lipid peroxidation was measured by a T-BARS assay. Results The increase in breathing rate in the irradiated rats was significantly reduced by the drug treatments. The drug treatment also significantly decreased the hydroxyproline content, 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine and malondialdehyde levels, and levels of activated macrophages and the cytokine transforming growth factor-β1 at 32 weeks. Almost complete mitigation of these radiation effects was observed by combining captopril and EUK-207. Conclusion Captopril and EUK-207 can provide mitigation of radiation-induced lung damage out to at least 32 weeks PI after treatment given 1-14 weeks PI. Overall the combination of captopril and EUK-207 was more effective than the individual drugs used alone. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

Jelveh S.,Ontario Cancer Institute | Jelveh S.,Princess Margaret Hospital | Chithrani D.B.,Princess Margaret Hospital | Chithrani D.B.,Sttarr Inc.
Cancers | Year: 2011

The field of nanotechnology is currently undergoing explosive development on many fronts. The technology is expected to generate innovations and play a critical role in cancer therapeutics. Among other nanoparticle (NP) systems, there has been tremendous progress made in the use of spherical gold NPs (GNPs), gold nanorods (GNRs), gold nanoshells (GNSs) and gold nanocages (GNCs) in cancer therapeutics. In treating cancer, radiation therapy and chemotherapy remain the most widely used treatment options and recent developments in cancer research show that the incorporation of gold nanostructures into these protocols has enhanced tumor cell killing. These nanostructures further provide strategies for better loading, targeting, and controlling the release of drugs to minimize the side effects of highly toxic anticancer drugs used in chemotherapy and photodynamic therapy. In addition, the heat generation capability of gold nanostructures upon exposure to UV or near infrared light is being used to damage tumor cells locally in photothermal therapy. Hence, gold nanostructures provide a versatile platform to integrate many therapeutic options leading to effective combinational therapy in the fight against cancer. In this review article, the recent progress in the development of gold-based NPs towards improved therapeutics will be discussed. A multifunctional platform based on gold nanostructures with targeting ligands, therapeutic molecules, and imaging contrast agents, holds an array of promising directions for cancer research. © 2011 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Jelveh S.,Ontario Cancer Institute | Kaspler P.,Ontario Cancer Institute | Bhogal N.,Radiation Medicine Program | Mahmood J.,Ontario Cancer Institute | And 8 more authors.
International Journal of Radiation Biology | Year: 2013

Purpose: Radioprotection and mitigation effects of the antioxidants, Eukarion (EUK)-207, curcumin, and the curcumin analogs D12 and D68, on radiation-induced DNA damage or lipid peroxidation in murine skin were investigated. These antioxidants were studied because they have been previously reported to protect or mitigate against radiation-induced skin reactions. Methods: DNA damage was assessed using two different assays. A cytokinesis-blocked micronucleus (MN) assay was performed on primary skin fibroblasts harvested from the skin of C3H/HeJ male mice 1 day, 1 week and 4 weeks after 5 Gy or 10 Gy irradiation. Local skin or whole body irradiation (100 kVp X-rays or caesium (Cs)-137 γ-rays respectively) was performed. DNA damage was further quantified in keratinocytes by immunofluorescence staining of γ-histone 2AX (γ-H2AX) foci in formalin-fixed skin harvested 1 hour or 1 day post-whole body irradiation. Radiation-induced lipid peroxidation in the skin was investigated at the same time points as the MN assay by measuring malondialdehyde (MDA) with a Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) assay. Results: None of the studied antioxidants showed significant mitigation of skin DNA damage induced by local irradiation. However, when EUK-207 or curcumin were delivered before irradiation they provided some protection against DNA damage. In contrast, all the studied antioxidants demonstrated significant mitigating and protecting effects on radiation-induced lipid peroxidation at one or more of the three time points after local skin irradiation. Conclusion: Our results show no evidence for mitigation of DNA damage by the antioxidants studied in contrast to mitigation of lipid peroxidation. Since these agents have been reported to mitigate skin reactions following irradiation, the data suggest that changes in lipid peroxidation levels in skin may reflect developing skin reactions better than residual post-irradiation DNA damage in skin cells. Further direct comparison studies are required to confirm this inference from the data. © 2013 Informa UK, Ltd.

Mikhail A.S.,University of Toronto | Eetezadi S.,University of Toronto | Allen C.,University of Toronto | Allen C.,Sttarr Inc.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

While 3-D tissue models have received increasing attention over the past several decades in the development of traditional anti-cancer therapies, their potential application for the evaluation of advanced drug delivery systems such as nanomedicines has been largely overlooked. In particular, new insight into drug resistance associated with the 3-D tumor microenvironment has called into question the validity of 2-D models for prediction of in vivo anti-tumor activity. In this work, a series of complementary assays was established for evaluating the in vitro efficacy of docetaxel (DTX) -loaded block copolymer micelles (BCM+DTX) and Taxotere® in 3-D multicellular tumor spheroid (MCTS) cultures. Spheroids were found to be significantly more resistant to treatment than monolayer cultures in a cell line dependent manner. Limitations in treatment efficacy were attributed to mechanisms of resistance associated with properties of the spheroid microenvironment. DTX-loaded micelles demonstrated greater therapeutic effect in both monolayer and spheroid cultures in comparison to Taxotere®. Overall, this work demonstrates the use of spheroids as a viable platform for the evaluation of nanomedicines in conditions which more closely reflect the in vivo tumor microenvironment relative to traditional monolayer cultures. By adaptation of traditional cell-based assays, spheroids have the potential to serve as intermediaries between traditional in vitro and in vivo models for high-throughput assessment of therapeutic candidates. © 2013 Mikhail et al.

Tata A.,University of Toronto | Gribble A.,University of Toronto | Ventura M.,University of Toronto | Ganguly M.,Sttarr Inc. | And 9 more authors.
Chemical Science | Year: 2016

While mass spectrometers can detect chemical signatures within milliseconds of data acquisition time, the non-targeted nature of mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) necessitates probing the entire surface of the sample to reveal molecular composition even if the information is only sought from a sample subsection. This leads to long analysis times. Here, we used polarimetry to identify, within a biological tissue, areas of polarimetric heterogeneity indicative of cancer. We were then able to target our MS analysis using polarimetry results to either the cancer region itself or to the cancer margin. A tandem of polarimetry and Desorption Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry Imaging (DESI-MSI) enables fast (10 fold compared to non-targeted imaging), and accurate pathology assessment (cancer typification in less than 2 minutes compared to 30 minutes for histopathology) of ex vivo tissue slices, without additional sample preparation. This workflow reduces the overall analysis time of MSI as a research tool. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2016.

Foltz W.D.,Princess Margaret Hospital | Foltz W.D.,Sttarr Inc. | Jaffray D.A.,Princess Margaret Hospital
Radiation Research | Year: 2012

This article aims to provide an educational document of magnetic resonance imaging principles for applied biomedical users of the technology. Basic principles are illustrated using simple experimental models on a preclinical imaging system. © 2012 by Radiation Research Society.

Govind S.K.,Ontario Cancer Institute | Zia A.,Ontario Cancer Institute | Hennings-Yeomans P.H.,Ontario Cancer Institute | Watson J.D.,Ontario Cancer Institute | And 11 more authors.
BMC Bioinformatics | Year: 2014

Background: Chromothripsis, a newly discovered type of complex genomic rearrangement, has been implicated in the evolution of several types of cancers. To date, it has been described in bone cancer, SHH-medulloblastoma and acute myeloid leukemia, amongst others, however there are still no formal or automated methods for detecting or annotating it in high throughput sequencing data. As such, findings of chromothripsis are difficult to compare and many cases likely escape detection altogether.Results: We introduce ShatterProof, a software tool for detecting and quantifying chromothriptic events. ShatterProof takes structural variation calls (translocations, copy-number variations, short insertions and loss of heterozygosity) produced by any algorithm and using an operational definition of chromothripsis performs robust statistical tests to accurately predict the presence and location of chromothriptic events. Validation of our tool was conducted using clinical data sets including matched normal, prostate cancer samples in addition to the colorectal cancer and SCLC data sets used in the original description of chromothripsis.Conclusions: ShatterProof is computationally efficient, having low memory requirements and near linear computation time. This allows it to become a standard component of sequencing analysis pipelines, enabling researchers to routinely and accurately assess samples for chromothripsis. Source code and documentation can be found at © 2014 Govind et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Stapleton S.,University of Toronto | Stapleton S.,Sttarr Inc. | Milosevic M.,Sttarr Inc. | Milosevic M.,Princess Margaret Cancer Center | And 12 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

The discovery of the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect has resulted in the development of nanomedicines, including liposome-based formulations of drugs, as cancer therapies. The use of liposomes has resulted in substantial increases in accumulation of drugs in solid tumors; yet, significant improvements in therapeutic efficacy have yet to be achieved. Imaging of the tumor accumulation of liposomes has revealed that this poor or variable performance is in part due to heterogeneous inter-subject and intra-tumoral liposome accumulation, which occurs as a result of an abnormal transport microenvironment. A mathematical model that relates liposome accumulation to the underlying transport properties in solid tumors could provide insight into inter and intra-tumoral variations in the EPR effect. In this paper, we present a theoretical framework to describe liposome transport in solid tumors. The mathematical model is based on biophysical transport equations that describe pressure driven fluid flow across blood vessels and through the tumor interstitium. The model was validated by direct comparison with computed tomography measurements of tumor accumulation of liposomes in three preclinical tumor models. The mathematical model was fit to liposome accumulation curves producing predictions of transport parameters that reflect the tumor microenvironment. Notably, all fits had a high coefficient of determination and predictions of interstitial fluid pressure agreed with previously published independent measurements made in the same tumor type. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that the model attributed inter-subject heterogeneity in liposome accumulation to variations in peak interstitial fluid pressure. These findings highlight the relationship between transvascular and interstitial flow dynamics and variations in the EPR effect. In conclusion, we have presented a theoretical framework that predicts inter-subject and intra-tumoral variations in the EPR effect based on fundamental properties of the tumor microenvironment and forms the basis for transport modeling of liposome drug delivery. Copyright: © 2013 Stapleton et al.

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