Arranja A, Gouveia LF, Gener P, Rafael DF, Pereira C, Schwartz S Jr, Videira MA.

Int J Pharmatech 2016 Feb 4. pii: S0378-5173(16)30075-8.


In past years, a considerable progress has been made in the conversion of conventional chemotherapy into potent and safe nanomedicines. The ultimate goal is to improve the therapeutic window of current chemotherapeutics by reducing systemic toxicities and to deliver higher concentrations of the chemotherapeutic agents to malignant cells. In this work, we report that PEGylation of the nanocarriers increases drug intracellular bioavailability leading therefore to higher therapeutic efficacy. The surface of the already patented solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN) loaded with paclitaxel (SLN-PTX) was coated with a PEG layer (SLN-PTX_PEG) through an innovative process to provide stable and highly effective nanoparticles complying with the predefined pharmaceutical quality target product profile. We observed that PEGylation not only stabilizes the SLN, but also modulates their cellular uptake kinetics. As a consequence, the intracellular concentration of chemotherapeutics delivered by SLN-PTX_PEG increases. This leads to the increase of efficacy and thus it is expected to significantly circumvent cancer cell resistance and increase patient survival and cure.