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Overcoming tumor cell chemoresistance using nanoparticles: lysosomes are beneficial for (stearoyl) gemcitabine-incorporated solid lipid nanoparticles

Authors Chen Z, Zheng Y, Shi Y, Cui Z

Received 15 August 2017

Accepted for publication 6 November 2017

Published 9 January 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 319—336

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S149196

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Lakshmi Kiran Chelluri

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas Webster


Zhe Chen,1,* Yuanqiang Zheng,1,* Yanchun Shi,1 Zhengrong Cui1,2

1Inner Mongolia Key Lab of Molecular Biology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Inner Mongolia Medical University, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, China; 2Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery, College of Pharmacy, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Despite recent advances in targeted therapies and immunotherapies, chemotherapy using cytotoxic agents remains an indispensable modality in cancer treatment. Recently, there has been a growing emphasis in using nanomedicine in cancer chemotherapy, and several nanomedicines have already been used clinically to treat cancers. There is evidence that formulating small molecular cancer chemotherapeutic agents into nanomedicines significantly modifies their pharmacokinetics and often improves their efficacy. Importantly, cancer cells often develop resistance to chemotherapy, and formulating anticancer drugs into nanomedicines also helps overcome chemoresistance. In this review, we briefly describe the different classes of cancer chemotherapeutic agents, their mechanisms of action and resistance, and evidence of overcoming the resistance using nanomedicines. We then emphasize on gemcitabine and our experience in discovering the unique (stearoyl) gemcitabine solid lipid nanoparticles that are effective against tumor cells resistant to gemcitabine and elucidate the underlying mechanisms. It seems that lysosomes, which are an obstacle in the delivery of many drugs, are actually beneficial for our (stearoyl) gemcitabine solid lipid nanoparticles to overcome tumor cell resistance to gemcitabine.

Keywords: gemcitabine, chemoresistance, chemotherapeutic agents, nanomedicine

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