Research Highlights

A novel delivery system for an anticancer standard

Published online 17 September 2020

Encapsulating a chemotherapeutic inside special sacs could make it more selective towards cancer.

Islam Elkholi

Laboratory experiments have shown that a novel drug delivery system enhances the accumulation of nedaplatin, a chemotherapeutic agent, within tumour cells. 

Chemotherapy is a cornerstone therapy for cancers, however chemotherapeutic agents, including nedaplatin, can destroy both healthy and cancerous cells, leading to serious side effects. 

Scientists at The American University in Cairo, Egypt, encapsulated nedaplatin within liposomes, spherical structures surrounded by two lipid layers, as a potential delivery system with higher propensity towards cancerous tissues. 

Liposomal encapsulation boosted nedaplatin accumulation in lung cancer cells nearly 1.5-fold, enhancing its killing power nearly four-fold, compared to cells treated with the non-encapsulated drug. Liposomal nedaplatin also induced more DNA damage in some of the tested cancer cells. In contrast, liposomal nedaplatin did not enhance cell death or DNA damage in tested healthy cells.

“Our study identifies liposomal nedaplatin as a promising candidate for future clinical development”, says the study’s co-lead investigator, Andreas Kakarougkas. 

“In vivo testing will be needed to assess the effectiveness of this novel formulation in reducing nedaplatin-associated adverse effects while maintaining its therapeutic benefit,” he adds.


El-Shafie, S. et al. Encapsulation of nedaplatin in novel PEGylated liposomes increases its cytotoxicity and genotoxicity against A549 and U2OS human cancer cells. Pharmaceutics 12, 863 (2020).