Lipid nanomedicines for anticancer drug therapy

J Biomed Nanotechnol. 2009 Aug;5(4):323-43. doi: 10.1166/jbn.2009.1042.


More than half of all people diagnosed with cancer receive chemotherapy. Unfortunately, most chemotherapy drugs cannot tell the difference between a cancer cell and a healthy cell. In this sense, some other drawbacks often encountered with antineoplastic compounds, such as poor stability and specificity and a high occurrence of drug-resistant tumor cells may be overcome to some degree by incorporating them into drug delivery systems. Solid Lipid Nanoparticles (SLN) have arisen considerable interest in recent years. These are particles of submicron size made from a lipid matrix that is solid at room and body temperature. Moreover, the biodegradable and biocompatible nature of SLN makes them less toxic than other nanoparticulate systems. SLN are capable of encapsulating hydrophobic and hydrophilic drugs, and they also provide protection against chemical, photochemical or oxidative degradation of drugs, as well as the possibility of a sustained release of the incorporated drugs. Along with these last issues, the feasibility of scaling up for large scale production and the low cost of lipids as compared to biodegradable polymers or phospholipids have favoured their use as potential drug delivery systems. This review focuses on the recent advances in SLN as carriers for chemotherapeutic agent delivery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry*
  • Drug Carriers / chemistry*
  • Drug Compounding / methods*
  • Humans
  • Lipids / chemistry*
  • Nanomedicine / trends*
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Nanoparticles / therapeutic use*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Drug Carriers
  • Lipids