Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Pharmaceutical and Chemical Sciences
Mamoun M. Alhamadsheh
First Committee Member
Miki S. Park
Second Committee Member
Jesika S. Faridi
Third Committee Member
Wade A. Russu
Fourth Committee Member
The hydrophobicity of many chemotherapeutic agents usually results in their nonselective passive distribution into healthy cells and organs causing collateral toxicity. Ligand-targeted drugs (LTDs) are a promising class of targeted anticancer agents. The hydrophilicity of the targeting ligands in LTDs limits its nonselective passive tissue distribution and toxicity to healthy cells. In addition, the small size of LTDs allows for better tumor penetration, especially in the case of solid tumors. However, the short circulation half-life of LTDs, due to their hydrophilicity and small size, remains a significant challenge for achieving their full therapeutic potential. Therefore, extending the circulation half-life of targeted chemotherapeutic agents while maintaining their hydrophilicity and small size will represent a significant advance towards effective and safe cancer treatment. Here, we present a new approach for enhancing the safety and efficacy of targeted chemotherapeutic agents. By endowing hydrophobic chemotherapeutic agents with a targeting moiety and a hydrophilic small molecule that binds reversibly to the serum protein transthyretin, we generated small hydrophilic drug conjugates that displayed enhanced circulation half-life in rodents and selectivity to cancer cells. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a successful approach that maintains the small size and hydrophilicity of targeted anticancer agents containing hydrophobic payloads, while at the same time extending their circulation half-life. This was demonstrated by the superior in vivo efficacy and lower toxicity of our conjugates in xenograft mouse models of metastatic prostate cancer.
Pal, Arindom. (2019). Development of a new class of ligand-targeted chemotherapeutics with enhanced safety and efficacy profile. University of the Pacific, Dissertation. https://scholarlycommons.pacific.edu/uop_etds/3642
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