Hesperetin liposomes for cancer therapy

Joy Wolfram, Bronwyn Scott, Kathryn Boom, Jianliang Shen, Carlotta Borsoi, Krishna Suri, Rossella Grande, Massimo Fresta, Christian Celia, Yuliang Zhao, Haifa Shen, Mauro Ferrari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Hesperetin is a compound from citrus fruit that has previously been found to exert anticancer activity through a variety of mechanisms. However, the application of hesperetin to cancer therapy has been hampered by its hydrophobicity, necessitating the use of toxic solubilizing agents. Here, we have developed the first liposome-based delivery system for hesperetin. Liposomes were fabricated using the thin-layer evaporation technique and physical and pharmacological parameters were measured. The liposomes remained stable for prolonged periods of time in serum and under storage conditions, and displayed anticancer efficacy in both H441 lung cancer cells and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Furthermore, the anticancer activity was not impaired in cells expressing the multidrug resistance protein 1 (MDR-1). In conclusion, the encapsulation of hesperetin in liposomes does not interfere with therapeutic efficacy and provides a biocompatible alternative to toxic solubilizing agents, thereby enabling future clinical use of this compound for cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)711-719
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Drug Delivery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Breast cancer
  • Drug delivery
  • Flavanone
  • Lung cancer
  • MDR-1
  • Natural products

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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