Methods: Tumor-bearing Balb-c nu/nu mice were treated intravenously with 0.2–1.0–5.0 mg/kg/week free- and liposomal DEX for 3–4 weeks and tumor growth was monitored by bioluminescent imaging.
Results: Intravenously administered liposomes localize efficiently to bone metastases in vivo and treatment of established bone metastases with (liposomal) dexamethasone resulted in a significant inhibition of tumor growth up to 26 days after initiation of treatment. Furthermore, 1.0 mg/kg liposomal dexamethasone significantly outperformed 1.0 mg/kg free dexamethasone, and was found to be well-tolerated at clinically-relevant dosages that display potent anti-tumor efficacy.
Conclusions: Liposomal delivery of the glucocorticoid dexamethasone inhibits the growth of malignant bone lesions. We believe that liposomal encapsulation of dexamethasone offers a promising new treatment option for advanced, metastatic prostate cancer which supports further clinical evaluation.