Combination of drug-conjugated SWCNT nanocarriers for efficient therapy of cancer stem cells in a breast cancer animal model

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Targeting breast cancer and more specifically cancer stem cell (CSC) subpopulation, responsible for tumor growth, resistance and self-renewal, using combination of therapeutic drugs selectively delivered via biocompatible nanocarriers, provides a novel approach for effective therapy. Here, we propose to evaluate the potential therapeutic efficacy of combining Paclitaxel and Salinomycin drugs actively targeted to both breast cancer and CSCs in xenograft murine model after conjugation with biocompatible CD44 antibody conjugated SWCNTs via hydrazone linker allowing pH-responsive release mechanism near the acidic tumor microenvironment. Both in vitro investigations on MDA-MB-231, sorted CSC negative or CSC positive fractions and in vivo evaluations on tumor-bearing mice using noninvasive bioluminescence and magnetic resonance imaging confirmed the enhanced therapeutic effect of the combined therapy compared to treatment with individual drug-conjugated nanocarriers or free drug suspensions. Thus, confirmed the great promise of the developed SWCNTs drug delivery system for effective breast cancer treatment by targeting and eradicating both whole tumor cells and CSCs populations.Graphical abstract

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