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Nanomedicine–Nanoemulsion Formulation Improves Safety and Efficacy of the Anti-Cancer Drug Paclitaxel According to Preclinical Assessment

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Paclitaxel is an important anticancer drug and is currently used to treat a variety of cancers, including ovarian carcinomas, breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, and AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma. The objectives of the studies were to assess and compare the safety and efficacy of EmPAC (a newly developed nanoemulsion formulation of paclitaxel) versus Taxol® (the injectable formulation of paclitaxel involving the use of polyethylated or polyoxyl castor oil currently used in the clinic). The objectives were also to investigate the mechanism for the improved safety and efficacy of EmPAC over Taxol. These results showed that EmPAC had better anti-tumor efficacy than Taxol, according to in vitro cell culture studies and studies in animal tumor models. EmPAC had improved anti-tumor efficacy even in tumor cell lines that are known to be multi-drug resistant. Part of the mechanism of action for the improved efficacy may be related to EmPAC inducing greater cellular uptake of paclitaxel into tumor cells than Taxol did, according to the in vitro cell culture radioactive-labeled studies and in vitro cell culture antibody studies. It may also partly be because EmPAC delivered more paclitaxel to the tumor mass than Taxol, while the delivery of paclitaxel to other tissues (e.g., blood, muscle, liver, spleen, kidney and lung) were similar between the two formulations of paclitaxel, according to studies in animals with tumor xenograft. EmPAC also had better safety than Taxol according to toxicology studies in rabbits. This may be because EmPAC does not contain the toxic ingredients used in formulating Taxol (such as polyethylated or polyoxyl castor oil). These results support the clinical development of the nanoemulsion formulation of paclitaxel.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2011-08-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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