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Pharmacokinetic studies of nanoparticles as a delivery system for conventional drugs and herb-derived compounds for cancer therapy: a systematic review

Authors Abdifetah O, Na-Bangchang K

Received 23 April 2019

Accepted for publication 31 May 2019

Published 23 July 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 5659—5677

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S213229

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Thiruganesh Ramasamy

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas J Webster


Omar Abdifetah,1,2 Kesara Na-Bangchang1–3

1Graduate Studies, Chulabhorn International College of Medicine, Thammasat University, Pathumthani, Thailand; 2Center of Excellence in Pharmacology and Molecular Biology of Malaria and Cholangiocarcinoma, Chulabhorn International College of Medicine, Thammasat University, Pathumthani, Thailand; 3Drug Discovery Center, Thammasat University, Pathumthani, Thailand

Abstract: The poor pharmacokinetic characteristics of most anticancer drugs have limited their clinical effectiveness. The application of nanoparticles as a novel drug delivery system has provided opportunities to tackle the current challenges facing conventional drug delivery systems such as poor pharmacokinetics, lack of specificity to tumor cells, multidrug resistance, and toxicity. This systematic review aims to examine the application of pharmacokinetic studies of nanoparticles loaded in conventional drugs and herb-derived compounds for cancer therapy. The pharmacokinetic parameters of several herbal medicines and chemotherapeutic drugs loaded into nanoparticles were reported. This included area under the curve (AUC) of plasma concentration–time profile, maximum plasma concentration (Cmax), time to maximum plasma concentration (Tmax), volume of distribution (Vd or Vss), elimination half-life (t½), and clearance (CL). The systematic review was conducted using information available in the PubMed and Science Direct databases up to February 2019. The search terms employed were: pharmacokinetics, pharmacokinetic study, nanoparticles, anticancer, traditional medicine, herbal medicine, herb-derived compounds, natural products, and chemotherapy. Overall, nanoparticle carriers not only significantly improved pharmacokinetics but also further enhanced permeability, solubility, stability, specificity, and selectivity of the carried anticancer drugs/herb-derived compounds to target tumor cells. Additionally, they also limited hepatic first-pass metabolism and P-glycoprotein (P-gp) efflux of the carried anticancer drugs/herb-derived compounds. Based on this systematic review, polymeric nanoparticles were the most commonly used nanocarrier to improve the pharmacokinetic parameters. The use of nanoparticles as a novel drug delivery system has the potential to improve both pharmacokinetics and cytotoxicity activity of the loaded drugs/herb-derived compounds for cancer therapy.

Keywords: anticancer, chemotherapy, herb-derived compounds, nanoparticles, pharmacokinetics, traditional medicines

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