Nanotherapy: New Approach for Impeding Hepatic Cancer Microenvironment via Targeting Multiple Molecular Pathways

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Hormones Department, Medicine and Clinical Studies Research Institute, National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt.

2 Stem Cell Lab, Center of Excellence for Advanced Sciences, National Research Centre, Dokki, Giza, P.O 12622, Egypt.


Objective: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) microenvironment has been recognized as a key contributor for cancer progression, metastasis, and drug resistance. The crosstalk between tumor cells, the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and the chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2) signaling networks mediates immunoinhibitory impact and facilitates tumor angiogenesis. The current investigation aimed at exploring the potent anti-cancer activity of the newly designed nano-based anti-cancer therapy comprising anti-VEGF drug, avastin (AV), and CCR2 antagonist (CR) to counteract HCC and tracking its mode of action in vivo. Methods: The prepared AV, CR, and AVCR nanoprototypes were characterized by nanoscale characterization techniques in our previous work. Here, they are applied for unearthing their anti-cancer properties / mechanisms in hepatic cancer-induced rats via analyzing protein levels and genetic expression of the elements incorporated in the angiogenesis, apoptosis, and metastasis signalling pathways. Results: The present results revealed a significant down-regulation in the angiogenesis, survival and metastasis indices along with up-regulation in the pro-apoptotic mediators upon treatment of hepatic cancer-bearing rats with the novel synthesized nanomaterials when compared with the untreated counterparts. We showed across HCC model that anti-VEGF in combination with CCR2 antagonism therapy leads to sensitization and enhanced tumor response over anti-VEGF or CCR2 antagonism monotherapy, particularly in its nanoscale formulation. Conclusion: The present approach provides new mechanistic insights into the powerful anti-hepatic cancer advantage of the novel nanoprototypes which is correlated with modulating critical signal transduction pathways implicated in tumor microenviroment such as angiogenesis, apoptosis and metastasis. This research work presents a substantial foundation for future studies focused on prohibiting cancer progression and recovery by targeting tumor microenviroment.


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