Formulation effects on paclitaxel transfer and uptake in the human placenta

Shariq Ali, Norah A. Albekairi, Sanaalarab Al-Enazy, Mansi Shah, Svetlana Patrikeeva, Tatiana N. Nanovskaya, Mahmoud Ahmed, Erik Rytting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer in pregnancy can result in morbidity and mortality for the mother and fetus. Many new paclitaxel nanoformulations commercially available worldwide for breast cancer treatment are being adopted due to favorable dosing regimens and side effect profiles, but their transplacental transport and resultant fetal exposure remain unknown. Here, we examine three formulations: Taxol (paclitaxel dissolved in Kolliphor EL and ethanol); Abraxane (albumin nanoparticle); and Genexol-PM (polymeric micelle). In the ex vivo dually perfused human placental cotyledon, placental accumulation of Genexol-PM is higher than Taxol, and both nanoformulations have lower maternal concentrations of paclitaxel over time. In vitro studies of these formulations and fluorescent nanoparticle analogs demonstrate that Genexol-PM allows paclitaxel to overcome P-glycoprotein efflux, but Abraxane behaves as a free drug formulation. We anticipate that these findings will impact future development of rational and safe treatment strategies for pregnancy-associated breast cancer and other diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102354
JournalNanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Efflux
  • Nanoparticle
  • Paclitaxel
  • Placenta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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