Rapamycin (Sirolimus) is a macrolide lactone with antifungal, immunosuppressant, and antiproliferative actions. The mechanism of rapamycin action involves the inhibition of mTOR and subsequent cytostasis. Rapamycin also prevents angiogenesis in tumors and can prevent cancer cells' resistance to other chemotherapeutic agents. However, very poor water solubility, bioavailability, only slight solubility in acceptable parenteral excipients, chemical instability, and major sequestration (95%) of free rapamycin into the erythrocytes have prevented its development as an anticancer drug. To address these problems, it was attempted to develo . . .p liposomal rapamycin delivery systems in this study. Conventional and pegylated liposomes were prepared with various lipid and cholesterol ratios. They were then characterized; these liposomes contained 0.680.90mg of rapamycin per milliliter of liposome suspension. Having suitable particle size, these liposomes successfully retained the entrapped drug. Both types of liposomes were found to be effective; however, conventional liposomes showed better antiproliferative activity against MCF-7 cells than pegylated liposomes. But, pegylated liposome showed better stability than conventional liposomes. In conclusion, the enhanced permeability and retention effercts of tumors should provide the opportunity for pegylated liposomal rapamycin to be applied as an intravenous drug-delivery system for targeted delivery to cancer cells, avoiding the major sequestration of free rapamycin into the erythrocytes
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