Purpose: Co-delivery of drugs to achieve the synergistic anticancer effect is a promising strategy for lung cancer therapy. The purpose of this research is to develop a doxorubicin (DOX) and β-elemene (ELE) co-loaded, pH-sensitive nanostructured lipid carriers (DOX/ELE Hyd NLCs).
Methods: In this study, DOX/ELE Hyd NLCs were produced by a hot homogenization and ultrasonication method and used for lung cancer treatment. In vitro and in vivo efficiency as well as toxicity of the system was evaluated on lung cancer cell lines and lung tumor-bearing mice.
Results: DOX/ELE Hyd NLCs had a particle size of 190 nm, with a PDI lower than 0.2. DOX/ELE Hyd NLCs exhibited a significantly enhanced cytotoxicity (drug concentration causing 50% inhibition was 7.86 μg/mL), synergy antitumor effect (combination index lower than 1), and profound tumor inhibition ability (tumor inhibition ratio of 82.9%) compared with the non pH-responsive NLCs and single-drug-loaded NLCs.
Conclusion: Since the synergistic effect of the drugs was found in this system, it would have great potential to inhibit lung tumor cells and tumor growth.