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Advances in Tumor Targeted Liposomes

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Cancer remains a deadly disease for effective treatment. Although anomalous tumor microenvironment is now widely exploited for targeted chemotherapy, safe and efficacious drug delivery to tumor cells is not still warranted. Liposomes are promising biodegradable and biocompatible nanocarriers having potential amenability for surface and internal modifications, and extraordinary capability to carry both hydrophilic as well as hydrophobhic drugs. Meticulous fabrication of liposomes with tumor selective ligand(s) and PEGylation reduces immunogenicity and increase target-specificity. This review focuses on critical developmental aspects of liposomes to target cancer cells exploiting Enhanced Permeability and Retention (EPR) effect and tumor-selective ligands such as folate, transferrin, peptides etc. Moreover, stimuli-responsive smart liposomes (triggers: pH, temperature, enzymes, magnetic field, ultrasound, and redox potential etc.) are also investigated for enhancement of drug delivery to tumors. This review summarizes advances in tumor-targeted liposomes via various means of targeting. This knowledgeable assemblage of advances in liposomal approaches will render new insights to formulators and budding scientists to design cancer targeted liposomes.
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Keywords: Cancer; EPR effect; PEGylation; active targeting; anticancer agents; chemotherapy; ligand

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: January 1, 2018

This article was made available online on May 9, 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "Advances in Tumor Targeted Liposomes".

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  • Current Molecular Medicine is an interdisciplinary journal focused on providing the readership with current and comprehensive reviews on fundamental molecular mechanisms of disease pathogenesis, the development of molecular-diagnosis and/or novel approaches to rational treatment. The reviews should be of significant interest to basic researchers and clinical investigators in molecular medicine. Periodically the journal will invite guest editors to devote an issue on a basic research area that shows promise to advance our understanding of the molecular mechanism(s) of a disease or has potential for clinical applications.
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