Dual drug-loaded paclitaxel–thymoquinone nanoparticles for effective breast cancer therapy

  • Parth Soni
  • Jasmine Kaur
  • Kulbhushan TikooEmail author
Research Paper


The present study highlights the beneficial synergistic blend of anticancer drug paclitaxel (PTX) and thymoquinone (TQ) in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. We aimed to augment the therapeutic index of PTX using a polymeric nanoparticle system loaded with PTX and TQ. PLGA nanoparticles encapsulating the two drugs, individually or in combination, were prepared by single emulsion solvent evaporation method. The formulated nanoparticles were homogenous with an overall negative charge and their size ranging between 200 and 300 nm. Entrapment efficiency of PTX and TQ in the dual drug-loaded nanoparticles was found to be 82.4 ± 2.18 and 65.8 ± 0.45 %, respectively. The release kinetics of PTX and TQ from the nanoparticles exhibited a biphasic pattern characterised by an initial burst, followed by a gradual and continuous release. The anticancer activity of nanoparticles encapsulating both the drugs was higher as compared to the free drugs in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. The combination index for the dual drug-loaded NPs was found to be 0.688 which is indicative of synergistic interaction. Thus, here, we propose the synthesis and use of dual drug-loaded TQ and PTX NPs which exhibits enhanced anticancer activity and can additionally help to alleviate the toxic effects of PTX by lowering its effective dose.


Paclitaxel Thymoquinone Breast cancer PLGA Nanomedicine 



The research work was supported by funds granted by National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, S.A.S. Nagar, Punjab, India.

Authors contributions

PS designed and performed the experiments and drafted the manuscript, JK designed the experiments and drafted the manuscript and KBT supervised and approved the final version of manuscript.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Epigenetics and Diseases, Department of Pharmacology and ToxicologyNational Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER)S.A.S. NagarIndia

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