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Potentials and Challenges of Active Targeting at the Tumor Cells by Engineered Polymeric Nanoparticles

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Tumor targeted therapy has brought a new hope to the cancer patients. With the recent advances in nanotechnology and growing knowledge on unique cancer biomarkers, it is now possible to manipulate the surface architecture of polymeric nanoscale delivery systems with targeting moieties, such as antibodies, antibody fragments, specific molecules, small peptides, RNA aptamers etc. to target specific receptors and antigens present exclusively or overexpressed on the tumor cell surface or on the tumor endothelial cell surface. These modified polymeric nanoparticles deliver the loaded chemotherapeutics preferentially to the tumor tissue and not to the healthy tissue. This ensures highly targeted treatment without severe side effects which are normally experienced by the cancer patients in case of conventional chemotherapy. Such specifically constructed polymeric nanocarriers with improved tumor targeting profile are now regarded as engineered polymeric nanoparticles, which have become one of the prime areas of drug delivery research in recent times. This review describes specific approaches used in recent years to construct engineered polymeric nanoparticles, their emerging potential for cancer therapy and recent advances in tumor targeting. An equal attention has been devoted to the fundamental problems encountered in practical fields which limit their clinical use and industrial production.
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Keywords: Active targeting; challenges; monoclonal antibody; polymeric nanoparticles; receptor; tumor targeting

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2013

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  • Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. Each issue of the journal contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics in both pre-clinical and clinical areas of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology is an essential journal for academic, clinical, government and pharmaceutical scientists who wish to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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