Nanoparticulate delivery of novel drug combination regimens for the chemoprevention of colon cancer

Int J Oncol. 2010 Jul;37(1):177-85. doi: 10.3892/ijo_00000665.


The purpose of this work was to assess synergistic inhibitory responses of a novel chemopreventive combination regimen of drugs namely, aspirin in combination with calcium and folic acid on two human colon cancer cell lines, HT-29 and SW-480. Subsequently, based on positive responses, nanotechnology-based formulations were developed for the targeted delivery of these combinatorial regimens to the colon for the chemoprevention of colon cancer. Additionally, conventional drug formulations using controlled release polymers chitosan, pectin and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) were tested for release of the drugs, for comparison purposes. Chemopreventive combination regimens demonstrated significant synergistic efficacy in both cell lines from XTT assay studies, when compared to the effects of individual agents. Approximately 45% decrease in cell viability for aspirin (15 mM) and calcium (30 mM) mixtures was observed in HT-29 cell lines, compared to approximately 55% decrease by the same combination in SW-480 cell lines. With combinations of aspirin (5 mM) and folic acid (1.5 mM), HT-29 cells demonstrated a 30% decrease in cell viability compared to approximately 38% decrease in the SW-480 cell line. Overall, all drug combinations demonstrated significant synergistic responses in the cell lines tested with the SW-480 cell line being more significantly affected by the drug regimens than the HT-29 cell line. Drug encapsulated nanoparticles demonstrated a spherical morphology, <125 nm average particle size (aspirin and folic acid) of nanoparticles and encapsulation efficiencies in the range of 80-91%. Drug release from nanoparticles was controlled with approximately 60% of the original amount released over a 96 h period. Conventional formulations exhibited faster kinetics of drug release when compared to the PLGA nanoparticles. Overall, the cell line studies demonstrate, for the first time, the ability of novel chemopreventive combinations to inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells whereas the nanotechnology-based drug delivery system provides valuable evidence for targeted therapy towards colon cancer chemoprevention.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / prevention & control*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage*
  • Aspirin / administration & dosage
  • Aspirin / pharmacology
  • Calcium / administration & dosage
  • Calcium / pharmacology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Chemoprevention
  • Colonic Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Compounding
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Drug Synergism
  • Folic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Folic Acid / pharmacology
  • HT29 Cells
  • Humans
  • Lactic Acid / chemistry
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Nanoparticles / therapeutic use*
  • Particle Size
  • Polyglycolic Acid / chemistry
  • Polylactic Acid-Polyglycolic Acid Copolymer


  • Polylactic Acid-Polyglycolic Acid Copolymer
  • Polyglycolic Acid
  • Lactic Acid
  • Folic Acid
  • Aspirin
  • Calcium