Cell-penetrating Peptides: Strategies for Anticancer Treatment

Trends Mol Med. 2015 Sep;21(9):560-70. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2015.06.005. Epub 2015 Jul 15.


Cell-penetrating peptides (CPP) provide an efficient strategy for the intracellular delivery of bioactive molecules in various biomedical applications. This review focuses on recent advances in the use of CPPs to deliver anticancer therapeutics and imaging reagents to cancer cells, along with CPP contributions to novel tumor-targeting techniques. CPPs are now used extensively to deliver a variety of therapeutics, despite lacking cell specificity and having a short duration of action. Resolution of these shortcomings to enable increased cancer cell and/or tumor specificity could improve CPP-based drug delivery strategies, expand combined drug delivery possibilities, and strengthen future clinical applications of these peptides.

Keywords: anticancer; cell-penetrating peptide; elastin-like polypeptide; tumor targeting.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Cell-Penetrating Peptides / administration & dosage*
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cell-Penetrating Peptides