Intraperitoneal siRNA Nanoparticles for Augmentation of Gemcitabine Efficacy in the Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer

Siyuan Tang, Yu Hang, Ling Ding, Weimin Tang, Ao Yu, Chuhan Zhang, Diptesh Sil, Ying Xie, David Oupický

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is a deadly disease with limited treatment options due to late diagnosis and resistance to conventional chemotherapy. Among emerging therapeutic targets, the CXCR4 chemokine receptor and polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1) play critical roles in the progression, metastasis, and chemoresistance of pancreatic cancer. Here, we tested the hypothesis that combining CXCR4 inhibition by a polymeric CXCR4 antagonist PAMD-CHOL with PLK1 knockdown by siRNA will enhance the therapeutic effect of gemcitabine (GEM) in the orthotopic model of metastatic pancreatic cancer. We formulated nanoparticles with cholesterol-modified PAMD and siPLK1 and found strong synergism when combined with GEM treatment in vitro in both murine and human pancreatic cancer cell lines. The biodistribution of the nanoparticles in orthotopic pancreatic cancer models revealed strong accumulation in primary and metastatic tumors, with limited hepatic disposition. The cholesterol-containing nanoparticles showed not only increased tumor accumulation than the cholesterol-lacking control but also deeper penetration into the tumors. In a therapeutic study in vivo, the triple combination of PAMD-CHOL/siPLK1 and GEM showed superior anticancer activity when compared with single and dual combination controls. In conclusion, PAMD-CHOL/siPLK1 nanoparticles synergistically enhance anticancer activity of GEM in pancreatic cancer and represent a promising addition to the treatment arsenal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4448-4458
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Pharmaceutics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 6 2021


  • CXCR4 antagonism
  • PLK1
  • gemcitabine
  • intraperitoneal administration
  • pancreatic cancer
  • siRNA delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery


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