Delivery of the vitamin E compound tocotrienol to cancer cells

Dufès, Christine (2011) Delivery of the vitamin E compound tocotrienol to cancer cells. Therapeutic Delivery, 2 (11). pp. 1385-1389.

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Tocotrienol, a member of the vitamin E family of compounds, is currently receiving increased attention because of its highly promising anti-cancer effects. However, its potential in cancer therapy is limited by its poor bioavailability and its inability to specifically reach tumors at therapeutic concentrations after intravenous administration. In order to remediate to these problems, various delivery strategies have been proposed, such as the inclusion of tocotrienol in γ-cyclodextrins, prodrugs and emulsions, entrapment in lipid nanoparticles and vesicles. Among these approaches, we demonstrated that the entrapment of tocotrienol within vesicles bearing transferrin, whose receptors are overexpressed on numerous cancer cells, significantly improved the uptake by cancer cells overexpressing transferrin receptors. Consequently, the intravenous administration of tocotrienol entrapped in transferrin-bearing vesicles led to tumor regression and even complete tumor suppression in some cases in a murine tumor model, as well as improvement of animal survival. Transferrin-bearing vesicles are therefore highly promising for the delivery of tocotrienol to cancer cells in vitro and in vivo and should be further investigated to optimize the anti-cancer therapeutic effect of tocotrienol.