Targeted Drug Delivery in Cancer Treatment

Targeted Drug Delivery in Cancer Treatment

Farhad Bano, Khalid Umar Fakhri, M. Moshahid Alam Rizvi
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-6530-8.ch012
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In a conventional oral or intravascular drug delivery approach, therapeutic factors are distributed throughout the body and only a limited part of the drug reaches to tumor site. Packaging of cytotoxic agents in drug delivery systems like nanoparticles could enhance its delivery to specific targets in the tumors and could be potential candidate for therapeutics advancement. Targeted drug delivery holds the potential to overcome the present therapeutics of cancer by selective delivery of an arbitrary amount of drug at the tumor site. Loading of cytotoxic agents in drug delivery systems could enhance its delivery to specific targets based on strategy to reach the tumor site. This chapter explores the detailed of innovative methods of drug delivery, challenges of targeted drug delivery, and their implications.
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Strategy Of Drug Delivery

The loading of cytotoxic agents in drug delivery systems increase its penetrance to cellular barriers, prevent the leakage to normal healthy cells, enhance controlled drug release and reduce side effect. Moreover, delivery of drugs through carriers overcome the multidrug resistance (MDR) caused by P-glycoprotein, drug efflux transporters frequently overexpressed in tumor cells (Piddock 2006; Yu et al., 2010). The delivery of drug carriers to specific targets is based on different strategy to reach the tumor site: Passive targeting or active targeting.

Passive Targeting

Passive targeting of drugs carriers could be done due to its specific physiological conditions of tumors including hypoxia, abnormal vasculature, temperature, pH, and surface charge of tumor cells. The increased penetrance of drug carriers in tumors is favored by enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect, which is firstly reported in 1986 (Matsumura and Maeda, 1986). The unchecked growth of tumor requires continuous oxygen and nutrient supply that is fueled by continued angiogenesis resulting poor vascularization (Hanahan and Weinberg, 2000). The chaotic and poorly formed new blood vessels often got leaky and allow increased mass transport of macromolecules, such as drug carriers, into the tumor (Maeda et al., 2000). This is coupled with impaired lymphatic drainage that enhanced the accumulation and retention of drug carriers in tumor cells (Leu et al., 2000).

Although passive targeting is interesting approach, however, it suffers from the serious limitations such as limited drug diffusion into tumor cells, the random nature of targeting, and the lack of EPR effect in some tumors.

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