A polymeric nanogel-based treatment regimen for enhanced efficacy and sequential administration of synergistic drug combination in pancreatic cancer

Kruti S. Soni, Divya Thomas, Thomas Caffrey, Kamiya Mehla, Fan Lei, Kelly A. O'Connell, Satish Sagar, Subodh M. Lele, Michael A. Hollingsworth, Prakash Radhakrishnan, Tatiana K. Bronich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most lethal cancers. A combination of cisplatin (CDDP) and gemcitabine (Gem) treatment has shown favorable clinical results for metastatic disease; both are limited by toxicities and nontargeted delivery. More than 80% of PDAC aberrantly expresses the sialyl Tn (STn) antigen due to the loss of function of the core 1b3-Gal-T-specific molecular chaperone, a specific chaperone for the activity of core 1 b3-galactosyltransferase or C1GalT. Here, we report the development of polymeric nanogels (NGs) loaded with CDDP and coated with an anti-STn antigen-specific antibody (TKH2 monoclonal antibody) for the targeted treatment of PDAC. TKH2-functionalized, CDDP-loaded NGs delivered a significantly higher amount of platinum into the cells and tumors expressing STn antigens. We also confirmed that a synergistic cytotoxic effect of sequential exposure of pancreatic cancer cells to Gem followed by CDDP can be mimicked by the codelivery of CDDP-loaded NGs (NG/CDDP) and free Gem. In a murine orthotopic model of PDAC, combined simultaneous treatment with Gem and targeted NG/CDDP significantly attenuated tumor growth with no detectable acute toxicity. Altogether, these results suggest that combination therapy consisting of Gem followed by TKH2-conjugated CDDP NGs induces highly synergistic therapeutic efficacy against pancreatic cancer. Our results offer the basis for development of combination drug regimens using targeted nanomedicines to increase treatment effectiveness and improve outcomes of PDAC therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)894-901
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology

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