A new approach for the treatment of CLL using chlorambucil/hydroxychloroquine-loaded anti-CD20 nanoparticles

Sara Capolla, Nelly Mezzaroba, Sonia Zorzet, Claudio Tripodo, Ramiro Mendoza-Maldonado, Marilena Granzotto, Francesca Vita, Ruben Spretz, Gustavo Larsen, Sandra Noriega, Eduardo Mansilla, Michele Dal Bo, Valter Gattei, Gabriele Pozzato, Luis Núñez, Paolo Macor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Current approaches for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) have greatly improved the prognosis for survival, but some patients remain refractive to these therapeutic regimens. Hence, in addition to reducing the long-term sideeffects of therapeutics for all leukemia patients, there is an urgent need for novel therapeutic strategies for difficult-to-treat leukemia cases. Due to the cytotoxicity of drugs, the major challenge currently is to deliver the therapeutic agents to neoplastic cells while preserving the viability of non-malignant cells. In this study, we propose a therapeutic approach in which high doses of hydroxychloroquine and chlorambucil were loaded into biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles coated with an anti-CD20 antibody.We first demonstrated the ability of the nanoparticles to target and internalize in tumor B-cells. Moreover, these nanoparticles could kill not only p53-mutated/deleted leukemia cells expressing a low amount of CD20, but also circulating primary cells isolated from chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients. The safety of these nanoparticles was also demonstrated in healthy mice, and their therapeutic effects were shown in a new model of aggressive leukemia. These results showed that anti-CD20 nanoparticles containing hydroxychloroquine and chlorambucil can be effective in controlling aggressive leukemia and provided a rationale for adopting this approach for the treatment of other B-cell disorders. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-548
Number of pages12
JournalNano Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • immune targeted nanoparticles
  • treatment
  • xenograft model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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