Repurposing Tamoxifen for Tumor Microenvironment Priming and Enhanced Tumor-Targeted Drug Delivery

Ilaria Biancacci, Daniele De Santis, Elena Rama, Karina Benderski, Jeffrey Momoh, Robert Pohlberger, Diana Moeckel, Leonard Kaps, Cristianne J.F. Rijcken, Jai Prakash, Marielle Thewissen, Fabian Kiessling, Yang Shi, Quim Peña, Alexandros Marios Sofias, Lorena Consolino*, Twan Lammers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The dense stromal matrix in fibrotic tumors hinders tumor-targeted drug delivery. Tamoxifen (TMX), an estrogen receptor modulator that is clinically used for the treatment of breast cancer, is shown to reprogram the tumor microenvironment (TME) and to alleviate desmoplasia. It is investigated if TMX, administered in free and nano-formulated form, can be repurposed as a TME remodeling agent to improve tumor accumulation of nano-formulations in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and triple-negative breast cancer mouse models, evaluated using clinical-stage Cy7-labeled core-crosslinked polymeric micelles (CCPM). Under control conditions, higher levels of Cy7-CCPM are found in PANC-1 tumors (16.7% ID g−1 at 48 h post i.v. injection) than in 4T1 tumors (11.0% ID g−1). In both models, free and nano-formulated TMX failed to improve CCPM delivery. These findings are congruent with the results from histopathological immunofluorescence analysis of tumor tissue, which indicate that TMX treatment does not significantly change vascularization, perfusion, macrophage infiltration, collagen density, and collagen fiber thickness. Altogether, these results demonstrate that in PANC-1 and 4T1 mouse models, TMX treatment does not contribute to beneficial TME priming and enhanced tumor-targeted drug delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2300098
JournalAdvanced Therapeutics
Issue number11
Early online date6 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • drug delivery
  • nanomedicine
  • polymeric micelles
  • tamoxifen
  • tumor microenvironment


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