Formulation and evaluation of mastic gum as a compression coat for colonic delivery of 5-flurouracil

Mohamed Nasr, Ibrahim E. Saad


Mastic gum has been reported to possess considerable anti-tumor activity against human colorectal cancer. The purpose of this work was to evaluate mastic gum in formulation of colon-specific 5-flurouracil delivery system for effective treatment of colorectal cancer. Compression coated tablets, containing 5-flurouracil in the core tablet coated with 200 mg of different coating materials containing various proportions of mastic gum were evaluated for their 5-flurouracil in vitro release. The results indicated that the concentrations of mastic gum, sodium chloride as well as hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose (HPMC) in the coating materials significantly modify the drug release. The coating material (F6) consisted of 60% mastic gum, 15% sodium chloride and 25% HPMC is considered as a promising formula for achieving colon targeting of 5-flurouracil. Further, gamma-scintigraphic studies were carried out in healthy male volunteers to evaluate in vivo release of F6. The results showed that tablets remained intact in stomach and small intestine, however partial and complete release of the tracer occurred in the colon. The in-vitro antitumor activity of 5-flurouracil-mastic gum combination mixed in a ratio representing their concentrations in tablets coated with F6 was carried out against colon cancer cell line using MTT assay. The results revealed that 5-flurouracil-mastic gum mixture was more effective in arresting cell growth in comparison to that shown by 5-flurouracil or mastic alone. In conclusion, this new colonic drug delivery system is potentially useful for 5-flurouracil colon targeting. However, clinical benefits of using mastic in formulation of 5-flurouracil colonic tablets need further evaluation.


Mastic gum, 5-flurouracil, Compression coating, Colonic delivery

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