Targeted delivery of curcumin to tumors via PEG-derivatized FTS-based micellar system

Yichao Chen, Xiaolan Zhang, Jianqin Lu, Yixian Huang, Jiang Li, Song Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Curcumin and S-trans, trans-farnesylthiosalicylic acid (FTS) are two promising anticancer agents. In this study, we demonstrated that the two agents exerted significant synergy in antitumor activity in various types of cancer cells with combination indices ranging from 0.46 to 0.98 (a value of less than unity indicates synergism). We have further shown that synergistic-targeted co-delivery of the two agents can be achieved via formulating curcumin in polyethylene glycol (PEG)-derivatized FTS-based nanomicellar system. Curcumin formulated in PEG-FTS micelles had small size of around 20 nm. The nanomicellar curcumin demonstrated enhanced cytotoxicity towards several cancer cell lines in vitro. Intravenous application of curcumin-loaded micelle (20 mg kg -1 curcumin) led to a significantly more effective inhibition of tumor growth in a syngeneic mouse breast cancer model (4T1.2) than curcumin formulated in Cremophor/EL (P<0.05).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)600-608
Number of pages9
JournalAAPS Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • S-trans, trans-farnesylthiosalicylic acid
  • curcumin
  • dual-functional carrier
  • micelles
  • synergy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science

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