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Starch derivatives as vehicles for drug delivery in anticancer therapy

Tomasz M. Goszczyński ,  Beata Filip-Psurska ,  Joanna Wietrzyk ,  Janusz Boratyński 

Ludwik Hirszfeld Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Polish Academy of Sciences (IITD), R. Weigl 12, Wrocław 53-114, Poland


The search for new, innovative methods of cancer treatment is an ongoing challenge undertaken in the scientific community. A major limitation to the most conventional low-molecular weight anticancer chemotherapeutics is their unprofitable uptake by healthy tissue, fast metabolism and lack of tumor cell selectivity. Solving these problems involves the binding process of drugs with macromolecular carriers. Such structures were designed with the aim to enhance delivery and to improve the selectivity of both conventional and innovative drugs. Research into drug binding with macromolecular carrier systems has joined the search  for new therapeutic strategies.

In the present contribution we discusses the potential application of starch derivatives as effective, high molecular, carriers for anticancer, therapeutic substances (e.g. methotrexate, MTX). Nanoparticles composed of a hydroxyethyl starch with a covalently bound MTX(ester bond) were obtained. Physicochemical properties (hydrodynamic size, zeta potential and drug release kinetics) of the obtained conjugates wereanalyzed, characterizing alterations in relation to the starting carrier and analyzing biological implications. In vitro biological characteristics were determined using different cancer cell lines. The antitumor effect in vivo was tested on NOD/SCID mice subcutaneously inoculated with MV4-11 human leukemia cells.

Obtained conjugates demonstrate differences in physicochemical properties when compared to initial polymer and exhibit high efficacy for the treatment of experimental tumors. Conjugates reduced the volume of MV4-11 tumors (10-fold increase in therapeutic effectiveness) to a significant degree (P< 0.05) when compared to the control group and MTX-treated group.

The present observation opens the way for the application of modified starch as a drug carrier, especially for anticancer treatments.

This project was supported by the National Science Centre, Poland (N N302 098434)


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Related papers

Presentation: Oral at IX Multidyscyplinarna Konferencja Nauki o Leku, by Tomasz M. Goszczyński
See On-line Journal of IX Multidyscyplinarna Konferencja Nauki o Leku

Submitted: 2014-03-14 11:54
Revised:   2014-04-28 19:00