Improved Solid Lipid Nano-formulations for Pulmonary Delivery of Paclitaxel for Lung Cancer Therapy

Authored by: Samson A. Adeyemi , Pradeep Kumar , Viness Pillay , Yahya E. Choonara

Handbook of Lung Targeted Drug Delivery Systems

Print publication date:  October  2021
Online publication date:  October  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367490676
eBook ISBN: 9781003046547
Adobe ISBN:


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Cancer is the second cause of death worldwide after cardiovascular disease and was responsible for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018. Lung cancer remains one of the most deadly cancers and the second most frequent cancer among males and females. In recent times, there has been an increased interest in the formulation of drugs explored for pulmonary delivery due to a number of significant factors. One is the potential of the lung to serve as a portal for the passage of drugs, including peptides and proteins, into the body. On-site administration of anti-cancer chemotherapeutics by inhalation can minimize the adverse effects of systemic administration, with optimum drug accumulation at the active site. Solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs) are a suitable candidate for this purpose due to their enhanced physical stability, which can withstand increased drug loading and improve pharmacokinetic properties. Paclitaxel has been shown to exhibit a wide range of applications as an anti-cancer agent for the treatment of a number of tumors, including lung cancer. The biodegradable and biocompatible nature of chitosan has been well explored as a therapeutic polymer with characteristic anti-cancer properties. Pulmonary drug delivery vectors based on chitosan formulations have been reported to decrease systemic toxicity of anti-cancer chemotherapeutics and enhance drug bioavailability in the lungs as well as increasing the anti-cancer effects of the drugs. By modifying the surfaces of particulate systems using targeting ligands, engineered particles have been shown to improve cellular uptake and internalization, which, in turn, increases the propensity of cancer cell apoptosis. Interestingly, folic acid receptors are uniquely overexpressed as molecular signatures on the cellular membrane of various cancer cells, including lung cancer. There is a high binding between folate and folate receptors overexpressed on lung cancer cell surfaces, which could be internalized via receptor-mediated endocytosis. Thus, in this chapter, we detail the excellent applications of folate functionalized chitosan SLNs for pulmonary delivery of paclitaxel in lung cancer therapy.

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