Inhalation treatment of primary lung cancer using liposomal curcumin dry powder inhalers.
Acta Pharm Sin B. 2018 May ;8(3):440-448. Epub 2018 May 3. PMID: 29881683
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Traditional chemotherapy causes serious toxicity due to the wide bodily distribution of these drugs. Curcumin is a potential anticancer agent but its low water solubility, poor bioavailability and rapid metabolism significantly limits clinical applications. Here we developed a liposomal curcumin dry powder inhaler (LCD) for inhalation treatment of primary lung cancer. LCDs were obtained from curcumin liposomes after freeze-drying. The LCDs had a mass mean aerodynamic diameter of 5.81 μm and a fine particle fraction of 46.71%, suitable for pulmonary delivery. The uptake of curcumin liposomes by human lung cancer A549 cells was markedly greater and faster than that of free curcumin. The high cytotoxicity on A549 cells and the low cytotoxicity of curcumin liposomes on normal human bronchial BEAS-2B epithelial cells yielded a high selection index partly due to increased cell apoptosis. Curcumin powders, LCDs and gemcitabine were directly sprayed into the lungs of rats with lung cancer through the trachea. LCDs showed higher anticancer effects than the other two medicationswith regard to pathology and the expression of many cancer-related markers including VEGF, malondialdehyde, TNF-, caspase-3 and BCL-2. LCDs are a promising medication for inhalation treatment of lung cancer with high therapeutic efficiency.