Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is an inherited neurological disorder. Approximately 5– 13% of NF1 patients may develop a malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST), which is a neurofibrosarcoma transformed from the plexiform neurofibroma or schwannoma. Given the large size and easy metastasis of MPNST, it remains difficult to be cured by either surgical or conventional chemotherapy. In this study, we investigated the possibility of combining photodynamic therapy (PDT) and chemotherapy to treat MPNST by using a dual-effect liposome (named as PL-cDDP-Ce6), in which a chemotherapeutic agent, cisplatin (cDDP), and photosensitizer, chlorine e6 (Ce6) were encapsulated in the same carrier. The cytotoxic effect of PL-cDDP-Ce6 against MPNST cells was significantly higher than cells treated with liposomal cDDP or Ce6 alone or in combination after light irradiation. Treatment with the dual-effect liposomes in mice bearing xenograft MPNST tumor reveals a significant increase in survival rate compared to those treated with liposomal cDDP and Ce6 in combination. Moreover, there is no weight loss or derangements of serum biochemistry. In conclusion, this study demonstrates the clinical potential and advantage of using this liposomal drug for the treatment of MPNST.
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