The effectiveness of anticancer agents may be hindered by low solubility in water, poor permeability, and high efflux from cells. Nanomaterials have been used to enable drug delivery with lower toxicity to healthy cells and enhanced drug delivery to tumor cells. Different nanoparticles have been developed using different polymers with or without surface modification to target tumor cells both passively and/or actively. Polylactide-co-glycolide (PLGA), a biodegradable polyester approved for human use, has been used extensively. Here we report on recent developments concerning PLGA nanoparticles prepared for cancer treatment. We review the methods used for the preparation and characterization of PLGA nanoparticles and their applications in the delivery of a number of active agents. Increasing experience in the field of preparation, characterization, and in vivo application of PLGA nanoparticles has provided the necessary momentum for promising future use of these agents in cancer treatment, with higher efficacy and fewer side effects.
Keywords: anticancer agents; nanotechnology; polymeric nanocarriers; surface modification; targeting.