Differential cell responses to nanoparticle docetaxel and small molecule docetaxel at a sub-therapeutic dose range

Edina C. Wang, Rebecca Sinnott, Michael E. Werner, Manish Sethi, Angelique W. Whitehurst, Andrew Z. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Current preclinical evaluations of nanoparticle taxanes have focused on the effect of nanoparticle size and shape on the efficacy and toxicity. It is generally assumed that nanoparticle therapeutics have the same cellular response on tumor and normal cells as their small molecule counterparts. Here, we show that nanoparticle taxanes can mediate cellular effects distinct from that of small molecule taxanes at the sub-therapeutic dose range. Cells that are exposed to two polymeric nanoparticle formulations of docetaxel were found to undergo a different cell cycle and cell fate than those of cells that were exposed to small molecule docetaxel. Our results suggest that nanoparticle formulation of therapeutics can affect the therapeutic effect of its cargo. From the Clinical Editor: This study investigates the differences between subtherapeutic doses of docetaxel applied as small molecules vs. nanoparticle formulations, demonstrating differential effects on the cell cycle and overall cell fate. The study suggests that the carrier may change the therapeutic effects of its cargo, which has important implications on future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-328
Number of pages8
JournalNanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Controlled drug release
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Drug delivery
  • Nanomedicine
  • Nanoparticle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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