Author(s): Marcucci F, Lefoulon F
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Abstract Drug therapy for the treatment of tumors is often limited by a narrow therapeutic index. One approach that overcomes this limitation is the active targeting of tumors with particulate drug carriers. The derivatization of particulate drug carriers with a ligand leads to the selective targeting of the particulate to selected cells, thereby focusing drug delivery. In addition, particulate drug carriers have a high loading capacity, do not need covalent conjugation of the drug and the formulation protects the entrapped drug from enzymatic inactivation. Despite these favorable properties, their therapeutic efficacy in animal models has been reported only in recent years. The use of internalizing ligands and the targeting of intravascular tumor cells and endothelial cells of tumor blood vessels have been instrumental in demonstrating the clinical effectiveness of particulate drug carriers in animal models. As a result, several actively targeted particulate carriers have now entered, or are about to enter, clinical investigation. Recent findings, for example, the identification of cell-penetrating peptides with restricted cell selectivity, suggest that further improvements in this approach are likely in the near future.
This article was published in Drug Discov Today
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology