Nanocarrier mediated therapies for the gliomas of the brain.
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Existing methods of treating glioma are not effective for eradicating the disease. Therefore, new and innovative methods of treatment alone or in combination with existing therapies are necessary. Delivery of therapeutic agents through delivery carriers such as liposomes diminishes the harmful effects of the agent in healthy tissues and allows increased accumulation in the tumor. In addition, targeted chemotherapy using liposomes provides the opportunity for further increase in drug accumulation in tumor. However, the current targeting strategies suffer accelerated plasma clearance and are not advantageous in improving efficacy. The search for new tumor targets, novel ligands, new strategies for targeting, and particle stabilization will advance our ability to improve delivery at the tumor level while decreasing toxicity to normal tissues. The global objective of this thesis was to improve the status of current liposomal therapy to achieve higher efficacy in tumors. Here, we show a novel mechanism to increase targeting to tumor while uncompromising on the long circulation of stealth liposomes. Long circulation is essential for passive accumulation of the nanocarriers due to EPR effect, in order to see benefits of targeting. Using phage display technique, a variety of tumor specific peptides were identified for use as targeting moieties. One potential advantage of the approach proposed here is the rapid identification of patient tumor specific peptide that evades the RES. This could lead to the development of a nanocarrier system with high avidity and selectivity for tumors. Therefore, tumor accumulation of the targeted formulations will be higher than that of non‐targeted liposomes due to increased drug retention at the tumor site and uncompromised blood residence time.In addition, it has been shown that the distribution of nanocarriers, spatially within the tumor, is limited that might further hinder the distribution of the encapsulated drug, thereby limiting efficacy. It is necessary to release the drug from within the nanocarrier to promote increased efficacy. Here, we were able to address the problem of drug diffusion within the tumor interstitium using a combination therapy employing a remotely triggered thermosensitive liposomal chemotherapeutic. We fabricated a thermosensitive liposomal nanocarrier that maintained its stability at physiological temperature to minimize toxicity to healthy cells. We, then, showed a remote triggering mechanism mediated by gold nanorods heated via NIR can help in achieving precise control over the desired site for drug release. These strategies enabled increased drug availability at the tumor site and contributed to tumor retardation. Additionally, we show that the synergistic therapy employing gold nanorods and thermosensitive liposomes may have great potential to be translated to the clinic.