Cabozantinib-Loaded PLGA Nanoparticles: A Potential Adjuvant Strategy for Surgically Resected High-Risk Non-Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma

Hye Won Lee, Hee Seung Seo, Seon Yong Yeom, Se Na Kim, Cho Rim Kim, Dae Hwan Park, Wooram Park, Young Bin Choy, Chun Gwon Park, Seong Il Seo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patients with high-risk non-metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) are at risk of metastatic relapse following nephrectomy. Cabozantinib (CZ), a potent multitarget tyrosine kinase inhibitor, interferes with angiogenesis and immunosuppression associated with surgery-induced metastasis. Here, we explored the therapeutic potential of CZ-loaded poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles (CZ-PLGA-NPs) as an adjuvant strategy for targeting post-nephrectomy metastasis. A clinically relevant subline recapitulating post-nephrectomy lung metastasis of high-risk human RCC, namely Renca-SRLu5-Luc, was established through in vivo serial selection of luciferase-expressing murine RCC Renca-Luc cells. CZ was encapsulated into PLGA-NPs via the conventional single emulsion technique. The multifaceted preclinical antimetastatic efficacy of CZ-PLGA-NPs was assessed in Renca-SRLu5-Luc cells. CZ-PLGA-NPs with a smooth surface displayed desirable physicochemical properties, good CZ encapsulation efficiency, as well as controlled and sustained CZ release. CZ-PLGA-NPs exhibited remarkable dose-dependent toxicity against Renca-SRLu5-Luc cells by inducing G2/M cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. CZ-PLGA-NPs attenuated in vitro colony formation, migration, and invasion by abrogating AKT and ERK1/2 activation. An intravenous injection of CZ-PLGA-NPs markedly reduced lung metastatic burden and prolonged lifespan with favorable safety in the Renca-SRLu5-Luc experimental lung metastasis model. The novel CZ-PLGA-NPs system with multifaceted antimetastatic effects and alleviating off-target toxicity potential is a promising adjunctive agent for patients with surgically resected high-risk RCC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12634
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • adjuvant
  • cabozantinib
  • drug delivery
  • enhanced permeability retention
  • nanoparticle
  • poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)
  • post-surgery metastasis
  • renal cell carcinoma


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