Novel Approaches to Breast Cancer Therapy: Evaluation of Next Generation Dendrimers for Drug Delivery
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Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women with approximately 40,000 patient deaths each year. Theranostics is an emerging area of cancer research in which chemically synthesized molecules are used to simultaneously deliver a diagnostic factor (e.g. DNA) and chemotherapeutic drug. This can be accomplished through the use of a dendrimer-based vector system that is capable of delivering DNA and a chemotherapeutic agent to the cancer cells. A previous study from our laboratory has shown that treating the cancer cells with a novel dendrimer construct (G2-NH2) alone, without drug or DNA present, can be cytotoxic. The purpose of this study was to test the next generation of dendrimers for the ability to deliver DNA into cancer cells and their efficacy to induce cell death. MCF-7 cells were transfected with green fluorescent protein (GFP) plasmid DNA using dried or liquid forms of the second generation dendrimers (F2-1 and G2-5). Following transfection, fluorescence was measured to assess the transfection capability of the dendrimers. Dried forms of the dendrimers showed very little fluorescence while liquid forms of both dendrimers revealed low-level fluorescence. The transfection experiment was repeated for an additional set of dendrimers (M6-24, M8-96, F4-2, F4-1, and F2-1). Dendrimer F4-2 showed the highest transfection efficiency. Additionally, cytotoxicity of the second generation dendrimers was measured. Dendrimers M8-96, M6-24, and F4-2 were cytotoxic at high concentrations while dendrimers F4-1 and F2-1 were not. The dendrimer compounds may represent the future of breast cancer therapy.
Snow, Merideth (2010). Novel Approaches to Breast Cancer Therapy: Evaluation of Next Generation Dendrimers for Drug Delivery. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from