Synthesis of a novel, sequentially active-targeted drug delivery nanoplatform for breast cancer therapy

Arpan Satsangi, Sudipa S. Roy, Rajiv K. Satsangi, Anthony W. Tolcher, Ratna K. Vadlamudi, Beth Goins, Joo L. Ong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among women. Paclitaxel (PTX), an important breast cancer medicine, exhibits reduced bioavailability and therapeutic index due to high hydrophobicity and indiscriminate cytotoxicity. PTX encapsulation in one-level active targeting overcomes such barriers, but enhances toxicity to normal tissues with cancer-similar expression profiles. This research attempted to overcome this challenge by increasing selectivity of cancer cell targeting while maintaining an ability to overcome traditional pharmacological barriers. Thus, a multi-core, multi-targeting construct for tumor specific delivery of PTX was fabricated with (i) an inner-core prodrug targeting the cancer-overexpressed cathepsin B through a cathepsin B-cleavable tetrapeptide that conjugates PTX to a poly(amidoamine) dendrimer, and (ii) the encapsulation of this prodrug (PGD) in an outer core of a RES-evading, folate receptor (FR)-targeting liposome. Compared to traditional FR-targeting PTX liposomes, this sequentially active-targeted dendrosome demonstrated better prodrug retention, an increased cytotoxicity to cancer cells (latter being true when FR and cathepsin B activities were both at moderate-to-high levels) and higher tumor reduction. This research may eventually evolve a product platform with reduced systemic toxicity inherent with traditional chemotherapy and localized toxicity inherent to single-target nanoplatforms, thereby allowing for better tolerance of higher therapeutic load in advanced disease states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-101
Number of pages14
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015


  • Breast cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Dendrimer
  • Drug delivery
  • Liposome
  • Nanoencapsulation
  • Nanoparticle
  • Sequential active-targeting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Bioengineering
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials


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