Mitigating prolonged QT interval in cancer nanodrug development for accelerated clinical translation

Amalendu P. Ranjan, Anindita Mukerjee, Lawrence Helson, Jamboor K. Vishwanatha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Cardiac toxicity is the foremost reason for drug discontinuation from development to clinical evaluation and post market surveillance [Fung 35:293-317, 2001; Piccini 158:317-326 2009]. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has rejected many potential pharmaceutical agents due to QT prolongation effects. Since drug development and FDA approval takes an enormous amount of time, money and effort with high failure rates, there is an increased focus on rescuing drugs that cause QT prolongation. If these otherwise safe and potent drugs were formulated in a unique way so as to mitigate the QT prolongation associated with them, these potent drugs may get FDA approval for clinical use. Rescuing these compounds not only benefit the patients who need them but also require much less time and money thus leading to faster clinical translation. In this study, we chose curcumin as our drug of choice since it has been shown to posses anti-tumor properties against various cancers with limited toxicity. The major limitations with this pharmacologically active drug are (a) its ability to prolong QT by inhibiting the hERG channel and (b) its low bioavailability. In our previous studies, we found that lipids have protective actions against hERG channel inhibition and therefore QT prolongation.Results: Results of the manual patch clamp assay of HEK 293 cells clearly illustrated that our hybrid nanocurcumin formulation prevented the curcumin induced inhibition of hERG K+ channel at concentrations higher than the therapeutic concentrations of curcumin. Comparing the percent inhibition, the hybrid nanocurcumin limited inhibition to 24.8% at a high curcumin equivalent concentration of 18 μM. Liposomal curcumin could only decrease this inhibition upto 30% only at lower curcumin concentration of 6 μM but not at 18 μM concentration.Conclusions: Here we show a curcumin encapsulated lipopolymeric hybrid nanoparticle formulation which could protect against QT prolongation and also render increased bioavailability and stability thereby overcoming the limitations associated with curcumin.

Original languageEnglish
Article number40
JournalJournal of Nanobiotechnology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 14 Dec 2013


  • Curcumin
  • Hybrid
  • Nanoparticle
  • QT prolongation
  • hERG


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