Folate-conjugated liposomes preferentially target macrophages associated with ovarian carcinoma

Mary Jo Turk, David J. Waters, Philip S. Low

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Scopus citations


The folate receptor (FR) is overexpressed on many epithelial cancers and has been exploited for targeted delivery of folate-linked liposomes to cancer cells in vitro. The present studies investigate the distribution of folate-targeted liposomes in a FR(+) mouse model of ovarian cancer. According to flow cytometric analysis, folate-conjugation of liposomes significantly enhanced their uptake into ovarian cancer cells and tumor-associated macrophages within tumor ascites fluid. Compared to ovarian cancer cells, macrophages acquired tenfold more liposomes, and approximately 50% of this uptake was FR-dependent. These results demonstrate that, in addition to their cancer cell-targeting properties, folate-liposomes may be useful for targeting drugs to tumor-associated macrophages in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-172
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 30 2004


  • Folate receptor targeting
  • Liposomal drug delivery
  • Ovarian cancer therapy
  • Tumor macrophages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Molecular Biology
  • Oncology


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