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Tumor-Targeted Drug Delivery with Aptamers

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Cancer is one of the leading causes of death around the world. Tumor-targeted drug delivery is one of the major areas in cancer research. Aptamers exhibit many desirable properties for tumor-targeted drug delivery, such as ease of selection and synthesis, high binding affinity and specificity, low immunogenicity, and versatile synthetic accessibility. Over the last several years, aptamers have quickly become a new class of targeting ligands for drug delivery applications. In this review, we will discuss in detail about aptamerbased delivery of chemotherapy drugs (e.g. doxorubicin, docetaxel, daunorubicin, and cisplatin), toxins (e.g. gelonin and various photodynamic therapy agents), and a variety of small interfering RNAs. Although the results are promising which warrants enthusiasm for aptamer-based drug delivery, tumor homing of aptamer-based conjugates after systemic injection has only been achieved in one report. Much remains to be done before aptamer-based drug delivery can reach clinical trials and eventually the day-to-day management of cancer patients. Therefore, future directions and challenges in aptamer-based drug delivery are also discussed.

Keywords: Aptamers; RNA interference; cancer; drug delivery; nanomedicine; siRNA; theranostics

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2011

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.

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