Functionalized micellar systems for cancer targeted drug delivery

Pharm Res. 2007 Jun;24(6):1029-46. doi: 10.1007/s11095-006-9223-y. Epub 2007 Mar 24.


Polymer micelles are rapidly becoming a powerful nanomedicine platform for cancer therapeutic applications due to their small size (10-100 nm), in vivo stability, ability to solubilize water insoluble anticancer drugs, and prolonged blood circulation times. Recent data from clinical trials with three micelle formulations have highlighted these and other pharmacokinetic advantages with reduced systemic toxicity and patient morbidity compared to conventional drug formulation. While the initial anti-tumor efficacy of these systems seems promising, a strong research impetus has been placed on micelle functionalization in order to achieve tumor targeting and site-specific drug release, with the hope of reaching a more pronounced tumor response. Hence, the purpose of this review is to draw attention to the new developments of multi-functional polymer micelles for cancer therapy with special focus on tumor targeting and controlled drug release strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Micelles*
  • Polymers


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Micelles
  • Polymers