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Niosomes are multilamellar vesicles formed from nonionic surfactants of the alkyl or dialkyl polyglycerol ether class and cholesterol. Adriamycin has been trapped within vesicles prepared from a monoalkyl triglycerol ether and its activity compared with adriamycin solution in human lung tumour cells grown in monolayer and spheroid culture and in tumour xenografted nude mice. The activity of the encapsulated adriamycin in vitro is maintained with similar clonogenic survival curves following treatment of monolayers and identical growth delays following spheroid exposure. The pharmacokinetics of adriamycin are altered in vivo in human lung tumour-bearing nude mice, when it is administered in niosomal form. There is prolonged release of drug from the plasma compartment with significantly lower peak levels; lower peak cardiac adriamycin concentrations with a shorter tissue half-life and decreased cardiac AUC and a greater degree of hepatic metabolism to inactive 7-deoxyaglycones. The tumour peak drug level and AUC was similar irrespective of the mode of administration of adriamycin. The growth delay (i.e. the time taken for the tumour volume to double) was significantly longer for adriamycin (15 days) and niosomal adriamycin (11 days) than for control (5.8 days). It is possible that the therapeutic ratio of adriamycin could be enhanced by administration in niosomal form.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Cancer

Publication Date





432 - 436


Animals, Cell Survival, Doxorubicin, Drug Carriers, Humans, Kidney, Liver, Lung Neoplasms, Mice, Mice, Nude, Mitosis, Myocardium, Time Factors, Tumor Cells, Cultured