1994 Volume 17 Issue 7 Pages 935-939
The effects of fluidity and vesicle size on the antitumor activity and myelosuppressive activity of liposomes loaded with daunorubicin, an anthracycline antitumor drug, were investigated in Yoshida sarcoma-bearing rats. Liposomes composed of egg phosphatidylcholine (EPC) or hydrogenated egg phosphatidylcholine (HEPC), cholesterol and dicetyl phosphate in a molar ratio of 5 : 4 : 1 were injected intravenously into rats 5 d after subcutaneous inoculation of Yoshida sarcoma. At non-effect dosage in free drug, HEPC-liposomes with a diameter of 58 or 142 nm showed the greatest inhibitory effect against Yoshida sarcoma among liposomes tested, whereas larger ones (272 nm) had weaker effect. Small EPC-liposomes (57 nm) had no effect. Larger HEPC-liposomes (especially 142 nm) greatly decreased the number of peripheral white blood cell compared with free drug at the same dose, indicating relatively strong myelosuppressive toxicity. However, small EPC-and HEPC-liposomes with a diameter of 57 and 58 nm, respectively, showed toxic effects comparable to that of free drug. Examination of the dose-dependency of therapeutic effects and toxicity indicated encapsulation of daunorubicin in the small HEPC-liposomes to enhance the therapeutic index about 3 times that of free drug. These findings indicate the possibility of using small HEPC-liposome as a drug carrier for targeting solid tumors.