Carbon Nanotubes Enhance the Internalization of Drugs into Cancer Cells and Decrease their Chemoresistance to Cytostatics

Authors: Meena Mahmood, Yang Xu, Vijayalakshmi Dantuluri, Alokita Karmakar, Daniel Casciano, Syed Ali, and Alexandru S. Biris

Publication: Nanotechnology, Volume 24, Issue 4


Etoposide is a semisynthetic, chemotherapeutic drug widely recommended to treat an extensive range of human cancers. Our studies indicate that, while etoposide is capable of killing human cancer cells, exposure to single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) and etoposide results in enhanced cell death that appears to be synergistic and not merely additive. In this study, we used high pressure liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to quantify the internal effective dose of etoposide when the human pancreatic cancer cell (PANC-1) was exposed to the combination of these agents. Our results unequivocally indicate that SWCNTs improve etoposide uptake and increase its capacity to kill cancer cells. We suggest that a combination of SWCNTs and etoposide may prove to be a more efficient chemotherapeutic protocol, especially because of the potential to lower toxic drug doses to levels that may be useful in decreasing adverse side effects, as well as in lowering the probability of inducing chemoresistance in exposed cancer cells.

Posted in: Biris, Publications

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