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Cancer Theranostic Applications of Albumin-Coated Tobacco Mosaic Virus Nanoparticles

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journal contribution
posted on 07.11.2018, 14:22 by A. S. Pitek, H. Hu, S. Shukla, N. F. Steinmetz
Nanotechnology holds great promise in cancer drug delivery, and of particular interest are theranostic approaches in which drug delivery and imaging are integrated. In this work, we studied and developed the plant virus tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) as a platform nanotechnology for drug delivery and imaging. Specifically, a serum albumin (SA)-coated TMV formulation was produced. The SA coating fulfils two functions: SA provides a stealth coating for enhanced biocompatibility; it also acts as a targeting ligand enabling efficient tumor accumulation of SA-TMV versus TMV in mouse models of breast and prostate cancer. We demonstrate drug delivery of the chemotherapy doxorubicin (DOX); TMV-delivered DOX outperformed free DOX, resulting in significant delayed tumor growth and increased survival. Furthermore, we demonstrated the ability of SA-coated TMV loaded with chelated Gd­(DOTA) for magnetic resonance imaging detection of tumors. In the future, we envision the application of such probes as theranostic, where first imaging is performed to assess whether the nanoparticles are effective at targeting a particular patient tumor. If targeting is confirmed, the therapeutic would be added and treatment can begin. The combination of imaging and therapy would allow to monitor disease progression and therefore inform about the effectiveness of the drug delivery approach.

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