Gemcitabine-loaded liposomes: rationale, potentialities and future perspectives
Cinzia Federico, Valeria M Morittu, Domenico Britti, Elena Trapasso, Donato Cosco
Department of Health Sciences, Building of BioSciences, University “Magna Græcia” of Catanzaro, Campus Universitario “S Venuta”, Germaneto, Italy
Abstract: This review describes the strategies used in recent years to improve the biopharmaceutical properties of gemcitabine, a nucleoside analog deoxycytidine antimetabolite characterized by activity against many kinds of tumors, by means of liposomal devices. The main limitation of using this active compound is the rapid inactivation of deoxycytidine deaminase following administration in vivo. Consequently, different strategies based on its encapsulation/complexation in innovative vesicular colloidal carriers have been investigated, with interesting results in terms of increased pharmacological activity, plasma half-life, and tumor localization, in addition to decreased side effects. This review focuses on the specific approaches used, based on the encapsulation of gemcitabine in liposomes, with particular attention to the results obtained during the last 5 years. These approaches represent a valid starting point in the attempt to obtain a novel, commercializable drug formulation as already achieved for liposomal doxorubicin (Doxil®, Caelyx®).
Keywords: gemcitabine, liposomes, multidrug, poly(ethylene glycol), tumors
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