Ovarian cancer treatment remains a challenge and targeting cancer stem cells presents a promising strategy. Niclosamide is an "old" antihelminthic drug that uncouples mitochondria of intestinal parasites. Although recent studies demonstrated that niclosamide could be a potential anticancer agent, its poor water solubility needs to be overcome before further preclinical and clinical investigations can be conducted. Therefore, we evaluated a novel nanosuspension of niclosamide (nano-NI) for its effect against ovarian cancer. Nano-NI effectively inhibited the growth of ovarian cancer cells in which it induced a metabolic shift to glycolysis at a concentration of less than 3 μM in vitro and suppressed tumor growth without obvious toxicity at an oral dose of 100 mg/kg in vivo. In a pharmacokinetic study after oral administration, nano-NI showed rapid absorption (reaching the maximum plasma concentration within 5 min) and improved the bioavailability (the estimated bioavailability for oral nano-NI was 25%). In conclusion, nano-NI has the potential to be a new treatment modality for ovarian cancer and, therefore, further clinical trials are warranted.
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