Objectives: This study investigated the antitumor effect of a new nanomicellar complex obtained
by combining the antitumor agent fenretinide with a quaternary amphiphilic amine RC16+ also
endowed with antitumor activity.
Methods: The complex (Fen-RC16+) strongly improved the aqueous solubility of fenretinide (from
1,71 ± 0.08 µg/ml, pure fenretinide to 1500 ± 164 µg /ml, Fen-RC16+ complex) and provided a cytotoxic
effect on SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cell lines resulting from the intrinsic activity of both the complex
components. Moreover, the mean size of the nanomicellar complex (ranging from 20 ± 1.97 nm to
40 ± 3.05 nm) was suitable for accumulation to the tumor site by the enhanced permeability and retention
effect and the positive charge provided by the quaternary RC16+ induced adsorption of the complex
on the tumor cell surface improving the intracellular concentration of fenretinide.
Results: All these characteristics made the Fen-RC16+ complex a multitasking system for antitumor
Conclusion: Indeed its in vivo activity, evaluated on SH-SY5Y xenografts, was strong, and the tumor
growth did not resume after the treatment withdrawal.