Andrew Z. Wang, MD, UNC Lineberger member and associate professor in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Radiation Oncology, was corresponding author of a Communication published in the journal Small.
The paper, “Nanoparticle drug delivery can reduce the hepatotoxicity of therapeutic cargo,” evaluated whether nanoparticle drug delivery contributed to liver damage, or hepatotoxicity.
The researchers wrote that hepatotoxicity is a key concern in clinical translational of nanotherapeutics, as preclinical studies have shown they have high accumulation in the liver. However, nanotherapeutics have not been shown to have high hepatotoxicity in the clinical setting.
In this study, the researchers examined factors that can affect the hepatotoxicity of the nanotherapeutics using compounds known to be toxic to the liver. They found that nanoparticle formulation actually reduced the compounds’ hepatotoxicity despite the high liver distribution. Moreover, hepatotoxicity could be reduced by slowing down the drug release.
These findings could be important in drug development as nanoparticle formulation can be utilized to reduce liver toxicity of promising drugs.