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Gemcitabine-loaded albumin nanospheres (GEM-ANPs) inhibit PANC-1 cells in vitro and in vivo

Ji Li1, Yang Di2, Chen Jin1*, Deliang Fu1, Feng Yang1, Yongjian Jiang1, Lie Yao1, Sijie Hao1, Xiaoyi Wang1, Sabin Subedi1 and Quanxing Ni2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pancreatic Surgery, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200040, China

2 Pancreatic Disease Institute, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200040, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:176  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-176

Published: 17 April 2013


With the development of nanotechnology, special attention has been given to the nanomaterial application in tumor treatment. Here, a modified desolvation-cross-linking method was successfully applied to fabricate gemcitabine-loaded albumin nanospheres (GEM-ANPs), with 110 and 406 nm of mean diameter, respectively. The aim of this study was to assess the drug distribution, side effects, and antitumor activity of GEM-ANPs in vivo. The metabolic viability and flow cytometry analysis revealed that both GEM-ANPs, especially 406-nm GEM-ANPs, could effectively inhibit the metabolism and proliferation and promote the apoptosis of human pancreatic carcinoma (PANC-1) in vitro. Intravenous injection of 406-nm GEM-ANPs exhibited a significant increase of gemcitabine in the pancreas, liver, and spleen of Sprague–Dawley rats (p < 0.05). Moreover, no signs of toxic side effects analyzed by blood parameter changes were observed after 3 weeks of administration although a high dose (200 mg/kg) of GEM-ANPs were used. Additionally, in PANC-1-induced tumor mice, intravenous injection of 406-nm GEM-ANPs also could effectively reduce the tumor volume by comparison with free gemcitabine. With these findings, albumin nanosphere-loading approach might be efficacious to improve the antitumor activity of gemcitabine, and the efficacy is associated with the size of GEM-ANPs.

Gemcitabine; Albumin; Nanospheres; Antitumor