Journal of biomedical nanotechnology

Antitumor efficacy and tolerability of systemically administered gallium acetylacetonate-loaded gelucire-stabilized nanoparticles.

PMID 23858967


The widespread clinical success with most gallium compounds in cancer therapy is markedly hampered by lack of tumor specific accumulation, poor tumor permeability and undesirable toxicity to healthy tissues. The aim of this work was to investigate for the first time antitumor mechanism of a new gallium compound (gallium acetylacetonate; GaAcAc) while assessing effectiveness of gelucire-stabilized nanoparticles (NPs) for potential application in gallium-based lung cancer therapy. NPs loaded with GaAcAc (Ga-NPs) were prepared using mixtures of cetyl alcohol with Gelucire 44/14 (Ga-NP-1) or Gelucire 53/13 (Ga-NP-2) as matrix materials. Of special note from this work is the direct evidence of involvement of microtubule disruption in antitumor effects of GaAcAc on human lung adenocarcinoma (A549). In-vivo tolerability studies were based on plasma ALT, creatinine levels and histopathological examination of tissues. The superior in-vivo antitumor efficacy of Ga-NPs over GaAcAc was depicted in marked reduction of tumor weight and tumor volume as well as histological assessment of excised tumors. Compared to free GaAcAc, Ga-NPs showed a 3-fold increase in tumor-to-blood gallium concentrations with minimized overall exposure to healthy tissues. Overall, enhancement of antitumor effects of GaAcAc by gelucire-stabilized NPs coupled with reduced exposure of healthy tissues to gallium would likely ensure desired therapeutic outcomes and safety of gallium-based cancer treatment.