Background: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) continues to be a distressing tumor due to its aggressive biologic behavior and scanty prognosis. Several therapeutic approaches have been tested both in clinical and preclinical settings, being intrapleural chemotherapy one of the most promising. Some years ago, our interest focused on polymeric films loaded with cisplatin for the adjuvant intrapleural treatment of surgical patients. After in vitro and in vivo studies in a rat recurrence model of MPM, the aim of this study was to evaluate the pharmacokinetics of the polymeric films in a sheep model in view of further studies in a clinical setting. Methods: An ovine model was used. Animals were divided into four groups according to pharmacologic treatment: control group (three animals undergoing left pneumonectomy and saline-NaCl solution); intrapleural hyaluronate cisplatin films (HYALCIS) group (six animals undergoing left pneumonectomy and intrapleural application of polymeric films loaded with cisplatin); intrapleural cisplatin solution (six animals undergoing left pneumonectomy and intrapleural application of cisplatin solution); intravenous cisplatin (five animals undergoing left pneumonectomy and intravenous administration of cisplatin solution). The primary objective was the plasmatic and pleural concentration of cisplatin in the treatment groups. The secondary objective was the treatment-related toxicity evaluated by plasmatic analysis performed at prearranged time intervals and histological examinations of tissue samples collected during animal autopsy. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used for statistical analysis. Bonferroni correction was applied for comparison between all groups. Results: Twenty female Sardinian sheep with a mean weight of 45.1 kg were studied. All animals survived the surgical procedures. The whole surgical procedure had a mean duration of 113 minutes. Cisplatin blood levels obtained from polymeric films application were low during the first 24 hours after the application; then, the cisplatin blood level increased gradually and progressively until it reached significantly higher plasmatic concentrations after 120 hours compared to intrapleural cisplatin solution (P=0.004) and intravenous administration (P=0.001), respectively. Considering cisplatin concentration at 168 hours after the application, animals treated with polymeric films had higher plasmatic values than animals treated with intrapleural cisplatin solution and intravenous cisplatin (P=0.001). Despite the high cisplatin plasmatic concentrations, treatment related-toxicity towards kidneys and liver was comparatively lower compared to the intravenous and intrapleural cisplatin administration and closer to the control levels. Conclusions: Polymeric films loaded with cisplatin allowed to reach significantly higher intrapleural and plasmatic cisplatin concentrations compared to intrapleural and intravenous cisplatin solution, providing at the same time, a significant reduction of treatment related toxicity.
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