Methotrexate (MTX), an anti-neoplastic agent used for breast cancer treatment, has restricted clinical applications due to poor water solubility, non-specific targeting and adverse side effects. To overcome these limitations, MTX was co-encapsulated with an active-targeting platform known as superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) in a lipid-based homing system, nanostructured lipid carrier (NLC). This multi-modal therapeutic regime was successfully formulated with good colloidal stability, bio- and hemo-compatibility. MTX-SPIONs co-loaded NLC was time-dependent cytotoxic towards MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell line with IC50 values of 137 μg/mL and 12 μg/mL at 48 and 72 h, respectively. The MTX-SPIONs co-loaded NLC was internalized in the MDA-MB-231 cells via caveolae-mediated endocytosis in a time-dependent manner, and the superparamagnetic properties were sufficient to induce, under a magnetic field, a localized temperature increase at cellular level resulting in apoptotic cell death. In conclusion, MTX-SPIONs co-loaded NLC is a potential magnetic guiding multi-modal therapeutic system for the treatment of breast cancer.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.