The high incidence of prostate carcinogenesis has prompted the search for novel effective treatment approaches. We have employed curcumin (Curc) and diethylstilbestrol (DES) to synthesize a series of polyacetal (PA)-based combination conjugates for prostate cancer (PCa) treatment. Given their bihydroxyl functionalities, Curc and DES molecules were incorporated into a PA mainchain using a one-pot reaction between diols and divinyl ethers. The PA-conjugates released both drugs under acidic conditions, such as those found in the tumor microenvironment, endosomes, or lysosomes, while remaining stable at neutral pH 7.4. The drug ratio was optimized to achieve anticancer drug synergism with elevated cytotoxicity against LNCaP-hormone-dependent human PCa cells conferred via the induction of S phase cell cycle arrest by the upregulation of p53 and CDK inhibitors p21Waf/CIP1 and downregulation of cyclin D1. The application of rationally designed PA-Curc-DES combination conjugates represents a potentially exciting new treatment for prostate cancer.
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