Cabazitaxel and thymoquinone co-loaded lipospheres as a synergistic combination for breast cancer

Chem Phys Lipids. 2019 Nov;224:104707. doi: 10.1016/j.chemphyslip.2018.11.009. Epub 2018 Dec 4.


Cabazitaxel as microtubule inhibitor and thymoquinone as HDAC inhibitor affects the important genes like p53, STAT3, Bax, BCL-2, p21 and down regulation of NF-κB are reported for potential activity against breast tumors. However, poor aqueous solubility and permeability hinders the delivery of these drugs to target site. To address the delivery challenges cabazitaxel and thymoquinone co-loaded lipospheres were developed. Lipospheres are the lipid based self-assemblies of particle size below 150 nm were prepared with more than 90% entrapment efficiency for both the drugs. In vitro drug release studies revealed there was a sustained diffusion controlled drug release from liposphere matrix leading to decrease in particle size with increase in zeta potential. Cytotoxicity studies on MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells demonstrated cabazitaxel and thymoquinone as synergistic combination for the treatment of breast cancer which was proved by CompuSyn software. Enhanced efficacy of developed lipospheres can be due to rapid cellular internalization which was observed in confocal laser scanning microscopy. Drastic changes in cancer cell morphology such as nuclear fragmentation were observed upon treatment with these lipospheres in comparison to combination solution as observed in fluorescent imaging which are the hall marks of apoptosis. Cell cycle analysis and apoptosis studies confirmed the increased Sub G1 phase arrest as well as cell death due to apoptosis. Thus, as per observed results, it can be concluded that cabazitaxel and thymoquinone co-loaded lipospheres are the efficient delivery vehicles in management of breast cancer.

Keywords: Breast cancer; Cabazitaxel; Lipospheres; Synergistic combination; Thymoquinone.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / chemistry*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / pharmacology
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Benzoquinones / chemistry*
  • Benzoquinones / pharmacology
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Membrane Permeability
  • Drug Compounding / methods
  • Drug Liberation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipids / chemistry*
  • Liposomes / chemistry*
  • Optical Imaging
  • Solubility
  • Taxoids / chemistry*
  • Taxoids / pharmacology


  • Benzoquinones
  • Lipids
  • Liposomes
  • Taxoids
  • cabazitaxel
  • thymoquinone