Synergistically Improved Anti-tumor Efficacy by Co-delivery Doxorubicin and Curcumin Polymeric Micelles

Macromol Biosci. 2015 Sep;15(9):1252-61. doi: 10.1002/mabi.201500043. Epub 2015 May 15.


P-gp mediated drug efflux has been recognized as a major obstacle limiting the success of cancer chemotherapy. To overcome this issue, doxorubicin (DOX) and curcumin (Cur; P-gp inhibitor and apoptosis inhibitor) co-encapsulated pegylated polymeric micelles ((DOX+Cur)-PMs) were designed, prepared and characterized to simultaneously deliver chemotherapeutic drug and multidrug resistance (MDR) modulator to tumor sites. The (DOX+Cur)-PMs were spherical nano-size particle, with a loading content of 6.83%, and high colloidal stability. Co-delivery micelles exhibited excellent cytotoxicity by reversing MDR, promoting cellular uptake and enhancing cellular apoptosis in MCF7/Adr cells. The tumor growth inhibitory effect of (DOX+Cur)-PMs in 4T1-bearing mice was more effective compared with the combination solution of DOX and Cur and even DOX-PMs. In conclusion, simultaneous delivery of DOX and Cur by (DOX+Cur)-PMs has been demonstrated to be a promising approach for overcoming MDR and improving antitumor efficacy.

Keywords: antitumor; co-delivery; curcumin; doxorubicin; polymeric micelles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Curcumin / administration & dosage*
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage*
  • Doxorubicin / therapeutic use
  • Drug Carriers / chemistry*
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Drug Synergism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Micelles*
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Polymers
  • Rats


  • Drug Carriers
  • Micelles
  • Polymers
  • Doxorubicin
  • Curcumin