Elevated interstitial fluid pressure and solid stress within tumors contribute to poor intratumoral distribution of nanomedicine. In this study, we hypothesized that the presence of fibrin in tumor extracellular matrix contributes to hindered intratumoral distribution of nanocarriers and that this can be overcome through the use of a fibrinolytic enzyme such as tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). Analysis of fibrin expression in human tumor biopsies showed significant fibrin staining in nearly all tumor types evaluated. However, staining was heterogeneous across and within tumor types. We determined the effect of fibrin on the diffusion, intratumoral distribution, and therapeutic efficacy of nanocarriers. Diffusivity of nanocarriers in fibrin matrices was limited and could be improved significantly by coincubation with tPA. In vivo, coadministration of tPA improved the anticancer efficacy of nanoparticle-encapsulated paclitaxel in subcutaneous syngeneic mouse melanoma and orthotopic xenograft lung cancer models. Furthermore, treatment with tPA led to decompression of blood vessels and improved tumor perfusion. Cotreatment with tPA resulted in greater intratumoral penetration of a model nanocarrier (Doxil), leading to enhanced availability of the drug in the tumor core. Fibrinolytics such as tPA are already approved for other indications. Fibrinolytic cotherapy is therefore a rapidly translatable strategy for improving therapeutic effectiveness of anticancer nanomedicine. Cancer Res; 77(6); 1465–75. ©2017 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Cancer Research Online (http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received June 15, 2016.
- Revision received December 17, 2016.
- Accepted December 21, 2016.
- ©2017 American Association for Cancer Research.