Selective targeting of cancer cells using synthetic peptides

Drug Resist Updat. 2003 Dec;6(6):363-71. doi: 10.1016/j.drup.2003.11.002.


To establish efficient and reliable therapeutic delivery into cancer cells, a number of delivery agents and concepts have been investigated in the recent years. Among many improvements in targeted and controlled delivery of therapeutics, cell-targeting peptides have emerged as the most valuable non-immunogenic approach to target cancer cells. Peptides can be incorporated into multicomponent gene-delivery complexes for cell-specific targeting. In contrast to larger molecules such as monoclonal antibodies, peptides have an excellent tumor penetration, which make them ideal carriers of therapeutics to the site of primary tumor and the distant metastatic sites. Here we give an update on the progress made during the last two years on the identification and potential of specific synthetic tumor targeting peptides.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Peptide Library
  • Peptides / administration & dosage
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Peptides / pharmacology*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Ligands
  • Peptide Library
  • Peptides
  • Receptors, Cell Surface