This study aims at merging the therapeutic effects associated to the inhibition of Carbonic Anhydrase IX (CAIX), an essential enzyme overexpressed by cancer cells including mesothelioma and breast cancer, with those ones brought by the application of Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT). This task was pursued by designing a sulfonamido-functionalised-carborane (CA-SF) that acts simultaneously as CAIX inhibitor and boron delivery agent. The CAIX expression, measured by Western blot analysis, resulted high in both mesothelioma and breast tumours. This finding was exploited for the delivery of a therapeutic dose of boron (> 20 μg/g) to the cancer cells. The synergic cytotoxic effects operated by the enzymatic inhibition and neutron irradiation was evaluated in vitro on ZL34, AB22 and MCF7 cancer cells. Next, an in vivo model was prepared by subcutaneous injection of AB22 cells in Balb/c mice and CA-SF was administered as inclusion complex with a β-cyclodextrin oligomer. After irradiation with thermal neutrons tumour growth was evaluated for 25 days by MRI. The obtained results appear very promising as the tumour growth was definitively markedly lower in comparison to controls and the CAIX inhibitor alone. This approach appears promising and it call consideration for the design of new therapeutic routes to cure patients affected by this disease.
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