Folic acid tagged nanoceria as a novel therapeutic agent in ovarian cancer

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BMC cancer [electronic resource]


BACKGROUND: Nanomedicine is a very promising field and nanomedical drugs have recently been used as therapeutic agents against cancer. In a previous study, we showed that Nanoceria (NCe), nanoparticles of cerium oxide, significantly inhibited production of reactive oxygen species, cell migration and invasion of ovarian cancer cells in vitro, without affecting cell proliferation and significantly reduced tumor growth in an ovarian cancer xenograft nude model. Increased expression of folate receptor-α, an isoform of membrane-bound folate receptors, has been described in ovarian cancer. To enable NCe to specifically target ovarian cancer cells, we conjugated nanoceria to folic acid (NCe-FA). Our aim was to investigate the pre-clinical efficacy of NCe-FA alone and in combination with Cisplatin.

METHODS: Ovarian cancer cell lines were treated with NCe or NCe-FA. Cell viability was assessed by MTT and colony forming units. In vivo studies were carried in A2780 generated mouse xenografts treated with 0.1 mg/Kg NCe, 0.1 mg/Kg; NCe-FA and cisplatinum, 4 mg/Kg by intra-peritoneal injections. Tumor weights and burden scores were determined. Immunohistochemistry and toxicity assays were used to evaluate treatment effects.

RESULTS: We show that folic acid conjugation of NCe increased the cellular NCe internalization and inhibited cell proliferation. Mice treated with NCe-FA had a lower tumor burden compared to NCe, without any vital organ toxicity. Combination of NCe-FA with cisplatinum decreased the tumor burden more significantly. Moreover, NCe-FA was also effective in reducing proliferation and angiogenesis in the xenograft mouse model.

CONCLUSION: Thus, specific targeting of ovarian cancer cells by NCe-FA holds great potential as an effective therapeutic alone or in combination with standard chemotherapy.

Medical Subject Headings

Animals; Cell Line, Tumor; Cell Proliferation; Cell Survival; Cerium; Cisplatin; Female; Folate Receptor 1; Folic Acid; Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic; Humans; Mice; Nanoparticles; Neovascularization, Pathologic; Ovarian Neoplasms; Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays

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