Nanoparticle-based celecoxib and plumbagin for the synergistic treatment of melanoma

Raghavendra Gowda, Gregory Kardos, Arati Sharma, Sanjay Singh, Gavin P. Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Using multiple drugs to kill cancer cells can decrease drug resistance development. However, this approach is frequently limited by the bioavailability and toxicity of the combined agents and delivery at ratios to specific locations that synergistically kill cancer cells. Loading the individual agents into a nanoparticle that releases the drugs at synergizing ratios at a single location is one approach to resolve this concern. Celecoxib and plumbagin are two drugs that were identified from a screen to synergistically kill melanoma cells compared with normal cells. Combined use of these agents by traditional approaches was not possible due to poor bioavailability and toxicologic concerns. This study details the development of a nanoliposomal-based agent containing celecoxib and plumbagin, called Cele- Plum-777, which is stable and releases these drugs at an optimal ratio for maximal synergistic killing efficacy. Cele- Plum-777 was more effective at killing melanoma than normal cells and inhibited xenograft melanoma tumor growth by up to 72% without apparent toxicity. Mechanistically, the drug combination in CelePlum-777 led to enhanced inhibition of melanoma cell proliferation mediated by decreasing levels of key cyclins important for cancer cell proliferation and survival, which was not observed with the individual agents. Thus, a novel nanoparticle-based drug has been developed containing celecoxib and plumbagin that lacks toxicity and delivers the agents at a synergistically killing drug ratio to kill cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)440-452
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular cancer therapeutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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