Development of a targeted Drug Delivery System for treatment of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinom

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)


Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death with a 5-year survival of less than 6%. The only potential cure for pancreatic cancer is by surgical removal of the tumor. However, most patients present with an advanced and metastasized disease at the time of diagnosis, leaving only around 15% of patients eligible for surgery. For the majority of patients, palliative chemotherapeutic treatment is the only option.

Gemcitabine, a nucleoside analogue, has been the standard chemotherapeutic treatment for pancreatic cancer in both the palliative and adjuvant settings. However, the use of gemcitabine is problematic, as it presents several drawbacks such as a short half-life (~15 min), drug resistance, deficient drug delivery, poor
cellular uptake and hence, a suboptimal therapeutic response.

The aim of this thesis was to develop a nanoparticle-based drug delivery system for a targeted and improved delivery of gemcitabine for treatment of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

To address this issue, we used a liposomal drug delivery system as the delivery system of choice. In a first stage, we developed and extensively characterized the liposomal system by use of several measurement techniques, such as DLS, cryo-TEM, nES GEMMA and AF4, evaluated the system stability and studied the
biodistribution profile of the liposomal system by use of radiolabeled liposomes and SPECT/CT imaging. In a second stage, we proceeded to develop a targeted treatment. We first identified a potential targeting protein, MUC4, which is highly expressed in pancreatic cancer but not expressed in the healthy pancreas and studied its clinical impact on resected pancreatic cancer patients. Finally, we developed a MUC4-targeted immunoliposome (iGemLip). iGemLip showed a significantly higher binding affinity, cellular uptake and antiproliferative effect on a MUC4-positive pancreatic cancer cell line, Capan-1, compared to both free and liposomal gemcitabine.


  • Carlos Urey
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Medical and Health Sciences


  • Drug Delivery Systems, Liposomes, Pancreatic cancer
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
Award date2017 May 31
Place of PublicationLund
  • Lund University: Faculty of Medicine
Print ISBNs978-91-7619-470-6
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 2017-05-31 Time: 09:00 Place: Hörsalen, Pufendorfinstitutet, Biskopsgatan 2, Lund External reviewer(s) Name: Malmsten, Martin Title: professor Affiliation: University of Copenhagen, Denmark --- ISSN: 1652-8220 Lund University, Faculty of Medicine Doctoral Dissertation Series 2017:90

Total downloads

No data available

Related research output

Urey, C., Weiss, V. U., Gondikas, A., von der Kammer, F., Hofmann, T., Marchetti-Deschmann, M., Allmaier, G., György Marko-Varga & Roland Andersson, 2016 Nov 20, In : International Journal of Pharmaceutics. 513, 1-2, p. 309-318 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Weiss, V. U., Urey, C., Gondikas, A., Golesne, M., Friedbacher, G., Von Der Kammer, F., Hofmann, T., Roland Andersson, György Marko-Varga, Marchetti-Deschmann, M. & Allmaier, G., 2016 Nov 7, In : Analyst. 141, 21, p. 6042-6050 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

View all (3)