Although the prognosis of patients with breast cancer continues to improve, breast cancer metastasis to bones remains high in incidence and challenging to manage. Here, we report the development of bone-homing alendronate (ALN)-anchored biodegradable polymeric micelles for the targeted treatment of metastatic cancer to bone. These micelles exhibited bone protective capacity including the recruitment, differentiation, and resorption activity of the osteoclasts. Encapsulation of docetaxel (DTX), the first-line chemotherapeutic for treatment of metastatic breast cancer, in ALN-modified micelles results in a sustained release, enhanced cytotoxicity, and improved pharmacokinetics. In the syngeneic animal model of late-stage disseminated breast cancer bone metastasis, the treatment with targeted DTX-loaded micelles attenuated the tumorigenesis and significantly improved animal lifespan compared to the conventional surfactant-based formulation (free DTX). These findings indicate potential applications of the osteotropic nanomedicines for bone metastasis treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMolecular Pharmaceutics
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • bone targeting
  • breast cancer bone metastasis
  • nanomedicine
  • polymeric micelles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery


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