Background: Docetaxel is a notably efficient anticancer drug administered for several types
of malignancies including ovarian cancer. However, various side effects caused either by the
nonspecific distribution of the active ingredient or by high contents of Tween 80 and ethanol in the currently
marketed formulations, could even deprive the patients of the treatment.
Objectives: In the current study, a novel targeted delivery system composed of Ecoflex® polymeric nanoparticles
loaded with docetaxel and equipped with HER-2 specific aptamer molecules was evaluated
regarding blood and tissue toxicity, and biodistribution.
Methods: The tumor-bearing nude mice, achieved by subcutaneous injection of SKOV-3 cells, were
divided into four groups treated with normal saline, Taxotere®, targeted docetaxel nanoparticles, and
non-targeted docetaxel nanoparticles.
Results: According to the results of hematologic evaluations, almost all hematologic parameters were
in normal range with no significant difference among the four groups. Histopathological studies revealed
that treatment with targeted nanoparticles caused a remarkable reduction in mitosis in tumor sections
and overall reduced organ toxicity compared with Taxotere®. The only exception was spleen in
which more damage was caused by the nanoparticles. The results of the biodistribution study were also
in accordance with pathological assessments, with significantly lower drug concentration in non-tumor
tissues, except for spleen, when targeted nanoparticles were used compared with Taxotere®.
Conclusion: These results could evidence the efficiency of the targeted delivery system in concentrating
the drug cargo mostly in its site of action leading to the elimination of its adverse effects caused
by exposure of other tissues to the cytotoxic agent.