Preparation and in vitro assessment of wet-spun gemcitabine-loaded polymeric fibers: Towards localized drug delivery for the treatment of pancreatic cancer
Background/Objectives: There has been minimal improvement in the prognosis of pancreatic cancer cases in the past 3 decades highlighting the crucial need for more effective therapeutic approaches. A drug delivery system capable of locally delivering high concentrations of chemotherapeutics directly at the site of the tumor is clearly required. The aim of this study was to fabricate and characterize the biophysical properties of gemcitabine-eluting wet-spun polymeric fibers for localized drug delivery applications.
Methods/Results: Fibers spun from alginate or chitosan solutions with or without the anticancer drug gemcitabine had a uniform surface area, were internally homogeneous and ranged from 50-120 ¿m in diameter. Drug encapsulation ranged from 13-52%, depending on the type and concentration of polymer used. Gemcitabine displayed first-order release kinetics where 64-82% of the loaded drug was rapidly released within the first 10 h followed by a sustained release over the next 134 h. A time dependent inhibition of ex vivo tumor spheroid growth and cell viability was observed after incubation with gemcitabine-loaded fibers but not control fibers.
Conclusion: With further development these studies could lead to the manufacture of a safe and effective delivery system designed to combat non-resectable pancreatic cancer for which currently there is minimal chance of cure.