An update on synthetic high-density lipoprotein-like nanoparticles for cancer therapy

Stephen E. Henrich, C. Shad Thaxton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Introduction: Significant clinical correlations have been observed between serum high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and cancer risk, outcomes, and patient response to specific treatments. While the biological processes underlying these correlations remain unclear, evidence suggests that HDLs actively inhibit tumor progression through a variety of mechanisms. As a result, synthetic HDLs have emerged as attractive agents for targeted cancer therapy. Areas covered: We present a focused review of recent developments in the use of synthetic HDLs for cancer therapy, including roles in drug delivery, RNAi, monotherapy, and immunotherapy. In addition to historic references relevant to the field, we searched the following databases for recent articles published from January 1st, 2015–May 1st, 2019: MEDLINE, Web of Science Core Collection, and Google Scholar. Expert opinion: Synthetic HDLs have already been used in human patients for cardiovascular disease, and have proven to be effective anticancer agents in pre-clinical testing, which should pave the way for future clinical trials in the setting of cancer. Given the growing notoriety of dysregulated cholesterol homeostasis as a key mechanism of cancer progression, and the immense success of synthetic HDLs in animal models, synthetic HDLs are well-poised to make significant strides toward the clinic as cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)515-528
Number of pages14
JournalExpert review of anticancer therapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 3 2019


  • Cancer therapy
  • cholesterol
  • drug delivery
  • high-density lipoprotein
  • immunotherapy
  • myeloid-derived suppressor cell
  • nanoparticle
  • siRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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