Curcumin has shown promising inhibitory activity against HER-2-positive tumor cells in vitro but suffers from poor oral bioavailability in vivo. Our lab has previously developed a polymeric microparticle formulation for sustained delivery of curcumin for chemoprevention. The goal of this study was to examine the anticancer efficacy of curcumin-loaded polymeric microparticles in a transgenic mouse model of HER-2 cancer, Balb-neuT. Microparticles were injected monthly, and mice were examined for tumor appearance and growth. Initiating curcumin microparticle treatment at 2 or 4 weeks of age delayed tumor appearance by 2–3 weeks compared to that in control mice that received empty microparticles. At 12 weeks, abnormal (lobular hyperplasia, carcinoma in situ, and invasive carcinoma) mammary tissue area was significantly decreased in curcumin microparticle-treated mice, as was CD-31 staining. Curcumin treatment decreased mammary VEGF levels significantly, which likely contributed to slower tumor formation. When compared to saline controls, however, blank microparticles accelerated tumorigenesis and curcumin treatment abrogated this effect, suggesting that PLGA microparticles enhance tumorigenesis in this model. PLGA microparticle administration was shown to be associated with higher plasma lactic acid levels and increased activation of NF-κΒ. The unexpected side effects of PLGA microparticles may be related to the high dose of the microparticles that was needed to achieve sustained curcumin levels in vivo. Approaches that can decrease the overall dose of curcumin (for example, by increasing its potency or reducing its clearance rate) may allow the development of sustained release curcumin dosage forms as a practical approach to cancer chemoprevention.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study received funding from the National Institutes of Health (CA 141996) and Grant-In-Aid program of the University of Minnesota. All institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Acknowledgements This study received funding from the National Institutes of Health (CA 141996) and Grant-In-Aid program of the University of Minnesota.
© 2017, Controlled Release Society.
Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- Cancer chemoprevention
- Polymeric microparticles
- Sustained release