Experimental design comparison of studies evaluating doxorubicin nanoparticles in breast cancer therapy

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Human Factors and Ergonomics In Manufacturing


Background: The unique properties of nanoparticles (NP) qualify these colloidal systems for a wide range of medical applications, including diagnosis and treatment. Particularly in cancer therapy, NP have significantly enhanced the potential of conventional imaging, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy and, consequently, offered new avenues for early interventions. So far, breast cancer has been one of the most studied cancer types with NP research, which can benefit the occupational breast cancer for the increasing number of women in the labor force in industry. Objectives: The objective of this study is to compare the experimental designs of preclinical studies that assessed the effect of doxorubicin NP (DOX-NP) on the estrogen-dependent MCF-7 breast cancer cell line using a recently established quantitative Experimental Appraisal Instrument (ExpAI). Methods: A systematic review of research articles published between August 2004 and August 2005 on NP and breast cancer treatment with doxorubicin was performed using various online databases and indexes available through the University of Cincinnati. Restrictive inclusion and exclusion criteria were defined leading to selection of four relevant articles that used comparable experimental designs. Critical appraisal of those studies was performed by five independent assessors using the ExpAI version 2.0 and the results were summarized in a table of evidence. Results: The study design in the selected articles was either between groups or mixed, with sample sizes varying from n = 3-6, and the evaluation of the effect of DOX-NP either in vitro or in vivo. The cytotoxic drug doxorubicin was the input variable in all studies, whereas different end points such as pharmacokinetic parameters, cytotoxicity surrogates (e.g., growth inhibition, mitochondrial activity), and quantitative analysis of messenger RNA were used as output variables. Conclusions: Although the articles assessed in this article were preclinical experimental studies, the results showed that doxorubicin NP drugs can be used effectively to enhance the delivery process in MCF-7 breast cancer cells by increasing the circulation time and targeting the tumor tissues. Considering the rising number of women in the labor force and the risk of occupational breast cancer, it can be concluded that DOX-NP may potentially be used as an effective anticancer drug on humans, but further research and studies are required to understand how DOX-NP drugs might react in the human body before using it on breast cancer patients. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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