Development and evaluation of transferrin-stabilized paclitaxel nanocrystal formulation

Ying Lu, Zhao Hui Wang, Tonglei Li, Helen McNally, Kinam Park, Michael Sturek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

57 Scopus citations


The aim of the present study was to prepare and evaluate a paclitaxel nanocrystal-based formulation stabilized by serum protein transferrin in a non-covalent manner. The pure paclitaxel nanocrystals were first prepared using an antisolvent precipitation method augmented by sonication. The serum protein transferrin was selected for use after evaluating the stabilizing effect of several serum proteins including albumin and immunoglobulin G. The formulation contained approximately 55-60% drug and was stable for at least 3 months at 4 C. In vivo antitumor efficacy studies using mice inoculated with KB cells demonstrate significantly higher tumor inhibition rate of 45.1% for paclitaxel-transferrin formulation compared to 28.8% for paclitaxel nanosuspension treatment alone. Interestingly, the Taxol® formulation showed higher antitumor activity than the paclitaxel-transferrin formulation, achieving a 93.3% tumor inhibition rate 12 days post initial dosing. However, the paclitaxel-transferrin formulation showed a lower level of toxicity, which is indicated by a steady increase in body weight of mice over the treatment period. In comparison, treatment with Taxol® resulted in toxicity issues as body weight decreased. These results suggest the potential benefit of using a serum protein in a non-covalent manner in conjunction with paclitaxel nanocrystals as a promising drug delivery model for anticancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-85
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 28 2014


  • Albumin
  • Antitumor fficacy
  • Keywords
  • Nanocrystal
  • Paclitaxel
  • Taxol
  • Transferrin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science

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