Chloroquine and nanoparticle drug delivery: A promising combination

Joe Pelt, Sara Busatto, Mauro Ferrari, E. Aubrey Thompson, Kabir Mody, Joy Wolfram

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Clinically approved cancer therapies include small molecules, antibodies, and nanoparticles. There has been major progress in the treatment of several cancer types over recent decades. However, many challenges remain for optimal use of conventional and nanoparticle-based therapies in oncology including poor drug delivery, rapid clearance, and drug resistance. The antimalarial agent chloroquine has been found to mitigate some of these challenges by modulating cancer cells and the tissue microenvironment. Particularly, chloroquine was recently found to reduce immunological clearance of nanoparticles by resident macrophages in the liver, leading to increased tumor accumulation of nanodrugs. Additionally, chloroquine has been shown to improve drug delivery and efficacy through normalization of tumor vasculature and suppression of several oncogenic and stress-tolerance pathways, such as autophagy, that protect cancer cells from cytotoxic agents. This review will discuss the use of chloroquine as combination therapy to improve cancer treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-49
Number of pages7
JournalPharmacology and Therapeutics
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • Autophagy
  • Cancer
  • Chloroquine
  • Liver
  • Nanomedicine
  • Vasculature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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