Delivering Nanomedicine to Solid Tumors

Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2010 Nov;7(11):653-64. doi: 10.1038/nrclinonc.2010.139. Epub 2010 Sep 14.

Abstract

Recent advances in nanotechnology have offered new hope for cancer detection, prevention, and treatment. While the enhanced permeability and retention effect has served as a key rationale for using nanoparticles to treat solid tumors, it does not enable uniform delivery of these particles to all regions of tumors in sufficient quantities. This heterogeneous distribution of therapeutics is a result of physiological barriers presented by the abnormal tumor vasculature and interstitial matrix. These barriers are likely to be responsible for the modest survival benefit offered by many FDA-approved nanotherapeutics and must be overcome for the promise of nanomedicine in patients to be realized. Here, we review these barriers to the delivery of cancer therapeutics and summarize strategies that have been developed to overcome these barriers. Finally, we discuss design considerations for optimizing the delivery of nanoparticles to tumors.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Lymphatic System
  • Nanoparticles / therapeutic use*
  • Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / pathology

Substances

  • Ligands