The therapeutic potential of tocotrienol, a vitamin E extract with anti-cancer properties, is hampered by its failure to specifically reach tumors after intravenous administration. In this work, we demonstrated that novel transferrin-bearing, tocopheryl-based multilamellar vesicles entrappingtocotrienol significantly improved tocotrienol uptake by cancer cells overexpressing transferrin receptors. This led to a dramatically improved therapeutic efficacy in vitro, ranging from 17-fold to 72-fold improvement depending on the cell lines, compared to the free drug. In vivo, the intravenous administration of this novel tocotrienol formulation led to complete tumor eradication for 40% of B16-F10 murine melanoma tumors and 20% of A431 human epidermoid carcinoma tumors. Animal survival was improved by more than 20 days compared to controls, for the two tumor models tested. These therapeutic effects, together with the lack of toxicity, potentially make transferrin-bearing vesicles entrapping tocotrienol a highly promising therapeutic system as part as an anti-cancer therapeutic strategy.
Background & Purpose: α-Tocotrienol (TCT) represents the most potent neuroprotective form of natural vitamin E that is Generally Recognized As Safe certified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This work addresses a novel molecular mechanism by which α-TCT may be protective against stroke in vivo. Elevation of intracellular oxidized glutathione (GSSG) triggers neural cell death. Multidrug resistance-associated protein 1 (MRP1), a key mediator of intracellular oxidized glutathione efflux from neural cells, may therefore possess neuroprotective functions.