Liposome-encapsulated anthraquinone improves efficacy and safety in triple negative breast cancer

Thomashire A. George, Max M. Chen, Andreas Czosseck, Hsiang Pei Chen, Hsu Shan Huang, David J. Lundy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women and a leading cause of death worldwide. Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a highly aggressive subtype which is the most challenging to treat. Due to heterogeneity and a lack of specific molecular targets, small molecule-based chemotherapy is the preferred course of treatment. However, these drugs have high toxicity due to off-target effects on healthy tissues, and tumors may develop resistance. Here, we present a polyethylene glycol-modified nanoscale liposomal formulation (LipoRV) of a new anthraquinone derivative which has potent effects on multiple TNBC cell lines. LipoRV readily inhibited the cell cycle, induced cell apoptosis, and reduced long-term proliferative potential of TNBC cells. In a xenograft animal model, LipoRV successfully cleared tumors and demonstrated a good safety profile, without detrimental effects on biochemical markers. Finally, RNA sequencing of LipoRV-treated TNBC cells was carried out, indicating that LipoRV may have immunomodulatory properties. These findings demonstrate that a liposomal anthraquinone-based molecule has excellent promise for TNBC therapy in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-43
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • Anthraquinone
  • Breast cancer
  • Liposome
  • Polyethylene glycol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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