In vitro potency, in vitro and in vivo efficacy of liposomal alendronate in combination with γδ T cell immunotherapy in mice

Naomi O. Hodgins, Wafa T. Al-Jamal, Julie T-W. Wang, Ana C. Parente-Pereira, Mao Liu, John Maher, Khuloud T. Al-Jamal

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Nitrogen-containing bisphosphonate (N-BP), including zoledronic acid (ZOL) and alendronate (ALD), have been proposed as sensitisers in γδ T cell immunotherapy in pre-clinical and clinical studies. Therapeutic efficacy of N-BPs is hampered by their rapid renal excretion and high affinity for bone. Liposomal formulations of N-BP have been proposed to improve accumulation in solid tumours. Liposomal alendronate (L-ALD) has been suggested as a suitable alternative to liposomal ZOL (L-ZOL), due to unexpected mice death experienced in pre-clinical studies with the latter. Only one study so far has proven the therapeutic efficacy of L-ALD, in combination with γδ T cell immunotherapy, after intraperitoneal administration of γδ T cell resulting in delayed growth of ovarian cancer in mice. This study aims to assess the in vitro efficacy of L-ALD, in combination with γδ T cell immunotherapy, in a range of cancerous cell lines, using L-ZOL as a comparator. The therapeutic efficacy was tested in a pseudo-metastatic lung mouse model, following intravenous injection of γδ T cell, L-ALD or the combination. In vivo biocompatibility and organ biodistribution studies of L-BPs were undertaken simultaneously. Higher concentrations of L-ALD (40–60 μM) than L-ZOL (3–10 μM) were required to produce a comparative reduction in cell viability in vitro, when used in combination with γδ T cells. Significant inhibition of tumour growth was observed after treatment with both L-ALD and γδ T cells in pseudo-metastatic lung melanoma tumour-bearing mice after tail vein injection of both treatments, suggesting that therapeutically relevant concentrations of L-ALD and γδ T cell could be achieved in the tumour sites, resulting in significant delay in tumour growth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229–241
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Early online date21 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2016


  • Bisphosphonates
  • γδ T cells
  • Liposomes
  • Immunotherapy
  • Sensitiser

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