Incorporation of docetaxel and thymoquinone in borage nanoemulsion potentiates their antineoplastic activity in breast cancer cells.
Sci Rep. 2020 Oct 22 ;10(1):18124. Epub 2020 Oct 22. PMID: 33093596
Mayson H Alkhatib
Combining more than one anticancer agent in a nanocarrier is beneficial in producing a formula with a low dose and limited adverse side effects. The current study aimed to formulate docetaxel (DTX) and thymoquinone (TQ) in borage oil-based nanoemulsion (B-NE) and evaluate its potential in impeding the growth of breast cancer cells. The formulated B-NE and the combination (DTX + TQ) B-NE were prepared by the ultra-sonication method and physically characterized by the dynamic light scattering techniques. The cytotoxicity analyses of (DTX + TQ) B-NE in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells were evaluated in vitro by using the SRB assay. Cell death mechanisms were investigatedin terms of apoptosis and autophagy pathways by flow cytometry. The optimum mean droplet sizes formulated for blank B-NE and the (DTX + TQ) B-NE were 56.04 ± 4.00 nm and 235.00 ± 10.00 nm, respectively. The determined values of the half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC) of mixing one-half amounts of DTX and TQ in B-NE were 1.15 ± 0.097 µM and 0.47 ± 0.091 µM in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells, respectively, which were similar to the ICvalues of the full amount of free DTX in both tested cell lines. The treatment with (DTX + TQ) B-NE resulted in a synergistic effect on both tested cells. (DTX + TQ) B-NE induced apoptosis that was integrated with the stimulation of autophagy. The produced formulation enhances the DTX efficacy against human breast cancer cells by reducing its effective dose, and thus it could have the potential to minimize the associated toxicity.