Doxorubicin and lapatinib combination nanomedicine for treating resistant breast cancer

Huiyuan Wang, Feng Li, Chengan Du, Huixin Wang, Ram I. Mahato, Yongzhuo Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Our objective was to design a polymeric micelle-based doxorubicin and lapatinib combination therapy for treating multidrug resistant (MDR) breast cancers. Poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(2-methyl-2-benzoxycarbonylpropylene carbonate) (PEG-PBC) polymers were synthesized for preparing doxorubicin and lapatinib loaded micelles using a film dispersion method. Micelles were characterized by determining critical micelle concentration (CMC), particle size distribution, and drug loading. The anticancer effects were determined in vitro with MTT assays as well as with lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release studies. In addition, the cellular uptake of drug-loaded micelles was determined with fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. Finally, in vivo anticancer activity and tolerance of developed formulations were evaluated in resistant breast tumor bearing mice. PEG5K-PBC7K polymer synthesized in this study had a low CMC value (1.5 mg/L) indicating an excellent dynamic stability. PEG-PBC micelles could efficiently load both doxorubicin and lapatinib drugs with a loading density of 21% and 8.4%, respectively. The mean particle size of these micelles was 100 nm and was not affected by drug loading. The use of lapatinib as an adjuvant sensitized drug resistant MCF-7/ADR cells to doxorubicin treatment. Cellular uptake studies showed enhanced doxorubicin accumulation in MCF-7/ADR cells in the presence of lapatinib. The doxorubicin and lapatinib combination therapy showed a significant decrease in tumor growth compared to doxorubicin monotherapy. In conclusion, we have developed PEG-PBC micelle formulations for the delivery of doxorubicin and lapatinib. The combination therapy of doxorubicin plus lapatinib has a great potential for treating MDR breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2600-2611
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Pharmaceutics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 4 2014


  • breast cancer
  • combination therapy
  • doxorubicin
  • lapatinib
  • multidrug resistance
  • nanomedicine
  • polymeric micelles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery


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