Nanometronomic treatment of 4T1 breast cancer with nanocaged doxorubicin prevents drug resistance and circumvents cardiotoxicity

Serena Mazzucchelli, Michela Bellini, Luisa Fiandra, Marta Truffi, Maria A Rizzuto, Luca Sorrentino, Erika Longhi, Manuela Nebuloni, Davide Prosperi, Fabio Corsi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chemotherapeutic treatment of breast cancer is based on maximum tolerated dose (MTD) approach. However, advanced stage tumors are not effectively eradicated by MTD owing to suboptimal drug targeting, onset of therapeutic resistance and neoangiogenesis. In contrast, "metronomic" chemotherapy is based on frequent drug administrations at lower doses, resulting in neovascularization inhibition and induction of tumor dormancy. Here we show the potential of H-ferritin (HFn)-mediated targeted nanodelivery of metronomic doxorubicin (DOX) in the setting of a highly aggressive and metastatic 4T1 breast cancer mouse model with DOX-inducible expression of chemoresistance. We find that HFn-DOX administered at repeated doses of 1.24 mg kg-1 strongly improves the antitumor potential of DOX chemotherapy arresting the tumor progression. We find that such a potent antitumor effect is attributable to multiple nanodrug actions beyond cell killing, including inhibition of tumor angiogenesis and avoidance of chemoresistance. Multiparametric assessment of heart tissues, including histology, ultrastructural analysis of tissue morphology, and measurement of markers of reactive oxygen species and hepatic/renal conditions, provided evidence that metronomic HFn-DOX allowed us to overcome cardiotoxicity. Our results suggest that HFn-DOX has tremendous potential for the development of "nanometronomic" chemotherapy toward safe and tailored oncological treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8383-8396
Number of pages14
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jan 31 2017


  • Journal Article

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