The design of novel antitumor agents allowing the destruction of malignant cells while sparing healthy tissues is one of the major challenges in medicinal chemistry. In this context, the use of non-toxic prodrugs programmed to be selectively activated by beta-glucuronidase present at high concentration in the microenvironment of most solid tumors has attracted considerable attention. This review summarizes the major progresses that have been realized in this field over the past ten years. This includes the new prodrugs that have been designed to target a wide variety of anticancer drugs, the prodrugs employed in the course of a combined therapy, the dendritic glucuronide prodrugs and the concept of β-glucuronidase-responsive albumin binding prodrugs.
Keywords: Cancer chemotherapy; Glucuronide prodrugs; Self-immolative linkers; Tumor targeting.
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