Targeted liposomal chemotherapies to treat triple-negative breast cancer

Yingnan Si, Ya Zhang, Hanh Giai Ngo, Jia Shiung Guan, Kai Chen, Qing Wang, Ajeet Pal Singh, Yuanxin Xu, Lufang Zhou, Eddy S. Yang, Xiaoguang Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs) are highly aggressive and recurrent. Standard cytotoxic chemotherapies are currently the main treatment options, but their clinical efficacies are limited and patients usually suffer from severe side effects. The goal of this study was to develop and evaluate targeted liposomes-delivered combined chemotherapies to treat TNBCs. Specifically, the IC50 values of the microtubule polymerization inhibitor mertansine (DM1), mitotic spindle assembly defecting taxane (paclitaxel, PTX), DNA synthesis inhibitor gemcitabine (GC), and DNA damage inducer doxorubicin (AC) were tested in both TNBC MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-468 cells. Then we constructed the anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) monoclonal antibody (mAb) tagged liposomes and confirmed its TNBC cell surface binding using flow cytometry, internalization with confocal laser scanning microscopy, and TNBC xenograft targeting in NSG female mice using In Vivo Imaging System. The safe dosage of anti-EGFR liposomal chemotherapies, i.e., <20% body weight change, was identified. Finally, the in vivo anti-tumor efficacy studies in TNBC cell line-derived xenograft and patient-derived xenograft models revealed that the targeted delivery of chemotherapies (mertansine and gemcitabine) can effectively inhibit tumor growth. This study demonstrated that the targeted liposomes enable the new formulations of combined therapies that improve anti-TNBC efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3749
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH), grant numbers 1R01CA238273-01A1, and 1R01CA242917-01A1.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Combined chemotherapies
  • Targeted liposomes
  • Triple-negative breast cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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