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AAPS PharmSciTech. 2006 September; 7(3): E38–E46.
Published online 2006 July 21. doi:  10.1208/pt070361
PMCID: PMC2750503

Formulation of anastrozole microparticles as biodegradable anticancer drug carriers


The purpose of this study was to develop poly(d,1-lactic-coglycolic acid) (PLGA)-based anastrozole microparticles for treatment of breast cancer. An emulsion/extraction method was used to prepare anastrozole sustained-release PLGA-based biodegradable microspheres. Gas chromatography with mass spectroscopy detection was used for the quantitation of the drug throughout the studies. Microparticles were formulated and characterized in terms of encapsulation efficiency, particle size distribution, surface morphology, and drug release profile. Preparative variables such as concentrations of stabilizer, drug-polymer ratio polymer viscosity, stirring rate, and ratio of internal to external phases were found to be important factors for the preparation of anastrozole-loaded PLGA microparticles. Fourier transform infrared with attenuated total reflectance (FTIR-ATR) analysis and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) were employed to determine any interactions between drug and polymer. An attempt was made to fit the data to various dissolution kinetics models for multiparticulate systems, including the zero order, first order, square root of time kinetics, and biphasic models. The FTIR-ATR studies revealed no chemical interaction between the drug and the polymer. DSC results indicated that the anastrozole trapped in the microspheres existed in an amorphous or disordered-crystalline status in the polymer matrix. The highest correlation coefficients were obtained for the Higuchi model, suggesting a diffusion mechanism for the drug release. The results demonstrated that anastrozole microparticles with PLGA could be an alternative delivery method for the long-term treatment of breast cancer.

Keywords: Breast cancer, microencapsulation, biodegradation, anastrozole, PLGA

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Selected References

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