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Enhanced Anticancer Activity and Circumvention of Resistance Mechanisms by Novel Polymeric/Phospholipidic Nanocarriers of Doxorubicin

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Severe toxic side effects and drug resistance are the major limitations of doxorubicin (Dox), one of the most potent anticancer agents in clinical use. Nanocarrier preparations offer the opportunity to overcome these drawbacks, which is reflected in the clinical approval of two liposomal Dox preparations. Additionally, there are many attempts to enhance the activity of Dox against multi-drug resistant (MDR) cancer cells. However, most of these strategies resulted in the increased uptake of Dox in resistant cells, only, while it remained unchanged in chemo-sensitive cells. Here, we present a new polymeric-phospholipidic hybrid delivery system which distinctly enhanced the accumulation and activity of Dox in all tested cancer cell lines including several MDR cell models. Notably, the resistance levels against Dox were reduced from about 6-fold to about 2-fold. Moreover, the new nanocarriers were shown to rapidly (within 10 min) and effectively transport Dox into resistant as well as sensitive cancer cells. Consequently, treatment with the new Dox-containing nanocarriers resulted in effective cell cycle arrest in G2/M phase and ROS-induced cell death induction. Finally, the new nanocarriers were tested against NK/Ly lymphoma and L1210 leukemia cells in vivo. In both cell models, the nanoformulation of Dox resulted in 100% cured animals already at low concentrations (0.1 mg/kg), while free Dox solely extended survival time. This indicates that the incorporation of phospholipids into PEGylated polymeric nanocarriers is a promising strategy to enhance efficacy and reduce toxicity of Dox treatment against both sensitive and resistant cancer models in vitro and in vivo.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2014

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  • Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology (JBN) is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal providing broad coverage in all research areas focused on the applications of nanotechnology in medicine, drug delivery systems, infectious disease, biomedical sciences, biotechnology, and all other related fields of life sciences.
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