Trastuzumab distribution in an in-vivo and in-vitro model of brain metastases of breast cancer

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Background: Drug and antibody delivery to brain metastases has been highly debated in the literature. The blood-tumor barrier (BTB) is more permeable than the blood-brain barrier (BBB), and has shown to have highly functioning efflux transporters and barrier properties, which limits delivery of targeted therapies. Methods: We characterized the permeability of 125I-trastuzumab in an in-vivo, and fluorescent trastuzumab-Rhodamine123 (t-Rho123) in a novel microfluidic in-vitro, BBB and BTB brain metastases of breast cancer model. In-vivo: Human MDA-MB231-HER2+ metastatic breast cancer cells were grown and maintained under static conditions. Cells were harvested at 80% confluency and prepped for intra-cardiac injection into 20 homozygous female Nu/Nu mice. In-vitro: In a microfluidic device (SynVivo), human umbilical vein endothelial cells were grown and maintained under shear stress conditions in the outer compartment and co-cultured with CTX-TNA2 rat brain astrocytes (BBB) or Met-1 metastatic HER2+ murine breast cancer cells (BTB), which were maintained in the central compartment under static conditions. Results: Tissue distribution of 125I-trastuzumab revealed only ~3% of injected dose reached normal brain, with ~5% of injected dose reaching brain tumors. No clear correlation was observed between size of metastases and the amount of 125I-trastuzumab localized in-vivo. This heterogeneity was paralleled in-vitro, where the distribution of t-Rho123 from the outer chamber to the central chamber of the microfluidic device was qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed over time. The rate of t-Rho123 linear uptake in the BBB (0.27 ± 0.33 X 104) and BTB (1.29 ± 0.93 X 104) showed to be significantly greater than 0 (p < 0.05). The BTB devices showed significant heterogenetic tendencies, as seen in in-vivo. Conclusions: This study is one of the first studies to measure antibody movement across the blood-brain and blood-tumor barriers, and demonstrates that, though in small and most likely not efficacious quantities, trastuzumab does cross the bloodbrain and blood-tumor barriers.