IR-780-loaded polymeric micelles enhance the efficacy of photothermal therapy in treating breast cancer lymphatic metastasis in mice

Authors: Bin HE1, Hai-yan HU1, Tao TAN2, Hong WANG2, Kao-xiang SUN1, Ya-ping LI2, Zhi-wen ZHANG2
1 School of Pharmacy, Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Drug Delivery System and Biotech Drugs in Universities of Shandong, Key Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology and Drug Evaluation (Yantai University), Ministry of Education, Yantai University, Yantai 264005, China
2 State Key Laboratory of Drug Research & Center of Pharmaceutics, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201203, China
Corresponding to: Kao-xiang SUN:, Zhi-wen ZHANG:,
DOI: 10.1038/aps.2017.109
Received: 24 April 2017
Accepted: 19 May 2017
Advance online: 10 August 2017


Cancer metastasis is responsible for over 90% of breast cancer-related deaths, and inhibiting lymph node metastasis is an option to treat metastatic disease. Herein, we report the use of IR-780-loaded polymeric micelles (IPMs) for effective photothermal therapy (PTT) of breast cancer lymphatic metastasis. The IPMs were nanometer-sized micelles with a mean diameter of 25.6 nm and had good stability in simulated physiological solutions. Under 808-nm laser irradiation, IPMs exhibited high heat-generating capability in both in vitro and in vivo experiments. After intravenous injection, IPMs specifically accumulated in the tumor and metastatic lymph nodes and penetrated into these tissues. Moreover, a single IPMs treatment plus laser irradiation significantly inhibited primary tumor growth and suppressed lymphatic metastasis by 88.2%. Therefore, IPMs are an encouraging platform for PTT applications in treatment of metastatic breast cancer.
Keywords: cancer metastasis; lymphatic metastasis; IR-780; polymeric micelles; photothermal therapy