Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Chemistry
Nanoparticle-based anticancer has the potential to improve cancer therapy as they generally show greater efficacy with less toxicity than their small molecules counterparts. In this work, the synthesis, characterization, in vitro, and in vivo evaluation of nanoparticle platforms to deliver platinum anticancer drugs are discussed. First, cisplatin-containing co-condensed silica nanoparticles were developed. These nanoparticles could deliver up to 30 wt% cisplatin and could be targeted to cancer cells by the surface attachment of appropriate ligands. The targeted nanoparticles had comparable efficacy to cisplatin in vitro. A new nanoparticle platform, known as polysilsesquioxanes (PSQ) was developed to deliver the platinum anticancer drugs cisplatin and oxaliplatin. These nanoparticles have remarkably high drug loading, up to 47 wt% oxaliplatin and 42 wt% cisplatin, respectively, and can selectively release their cargos in the tumor environment. Both PSQ nanoparticles were functionalized with a polyethylene glycol (PEG) shell. In vivo evaluations against multiple xenograft models of pancreatic or lung cancers demonstrated that PSQ nanoparticles had comparable or better efficacy than oxaliplatin or cisplatin. Further development of all three nanoparticle platforms is ongoing to fully realize their clinical potential.