Background: To evaluate the effects of intravesical administration of paclitaxel (PTX-30W), which was prepared by solubilization with a water-soluble amphiphilic polymer composed of PMB30W, a copolymer of 2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine and n-butyl methacrylate, in an orthotopic bladder cancer model. Methods: The cytotoxicities of PMB30W were examined in MBT-2 cell cultures and the results were compared with those of the conventional paclitaxel solubilizer Cremophor. In an orthotopic MBT-2 bladder cancer model, the effect of intravesical administration of PTX-30W was compared with that of paclitaxel solubilized with Cremophor (PTX-CrEL). The paclitaxel concentration in bladder tumors after the intravesical treatment was also evaluated using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) system. Results: In vitro, Cremophor exhibited dose-dependent cytotoxicity towards MBT-2 cells, whereas no cytotoxicity was observed with PMB30W. In the orthotopic bladder cancer model, intravesical administration of PTX-30W resulted in a significant reduction of bladder wet weight compared with that of PTX-CrEL. The paclitaxel concentration in bladder tumors after the intravesical treatment was significantly higher in PTX-30W treated mice than in PTX-CrEL treated mice. Conclusions: Intravesically administered PTX-30W can elicit stronger antitumor effects on bladder tumors than conventional paclitaxel formulated in Cremophor, presumably because of its better penetration into tumor cells. PTX-30W might be a promising antitumor agent for intravesical treatment of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.
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