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Drug Deliv. 2016 May;23(4):1420-5. doi: 10.3109/10717544.2015.1066902. Epub 2015 Jul 23.

Curcumin-guided nanotherapy: a lipid-based nanomedicine for targeted drug delivery in breast cancer therapy.

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a Department of Breast Surgery and.
b Department of Infectious Disease , Weifang People's Hospital , Weifang , China.



Delivery of anti-cancer drugs into the cancer cells or tissues by multifunctional nanocarriers may provide a new paradigm in cancer treatment. In this study, folate (FA) decorated nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs) were constructed as nanomedicine for the delivery of curcumin (CUR).


CUR-loaded NLCs (CUR-NLCs) were prepared. FA containing polyethylene glycol (PEG)-distearoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DSPE) (FA-PEG-DSPE) was synthesized and used for the decoration of CUR-NLCs. Their particle size, zeta potential, and drug encapsulation efficiency (EE) were evaluated. In vitro cytotoxicity study FA decorated CUR-NLCs (FA-CUR-NLCs) was tested in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells (MCF-7 cells). In vivo anti-tumor efficacies of the carriers were evaluated on mice bearing breast cancer model.


The optimum FA-CUR-NLCs formulations with the particle size of 127 nm and with a +13 mV surface charge. The growth of MCF-7 cells in vitro was obviously inhibited. FA-CUR-NLCs also displayed the best anti-tumor activity than other formulations in vivo.


The results demonstrated that FA-CUR-NLCs were efficient in selective delivery to cancer cells over-expressing FA receptors (FRs). Also FA-CUR-NLCs transfer CUR to the breast cancer cells, enhance the anti-tumor capacity. Thus, FA-CUR-NLCs could prove to be a superior nanomedicine to achieve tumor therapeutic efficacy.


Breast cancer; lipid based nanomedicine; nanostructured lipid carriers; nanotherapy; targeted drug delivery system

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