Recent advances in "smart" delivery systems for extended drug release in cancer therapy

Int J Nanomedicine. 2018 Aug 20;13:4727-4745. doi: 10.2147/IJN.S168053. eCollection 2018.


Advances in nanomedicine have become indispensable for targeted drug delivery, early detection, and increasingly personalized approaches to cancer treatment. Nanoparticle-based drug-delivery systems have overcome some of the limitations associated with traditional cancer-therapy administration, such as reduced drug solubility, chemoresistance, systemic toxicity, narrow therapeutic indices, and poor oral bioavailability. Advances in the field of nanomedicine include "smart" drug delivery, or multiple levels of targeting, and extended-release drug-delivery systems that provide additional methods of overcoming these limitations. More recently, the idea of combining smart drug delivery with extended-release has emerged in hopes of developing highly efficient nanoparticles with improved delivery, bioavailability, and safety profiles. Although functionalized and extended-release drug-delivery systems have been studied extensively, there remain gaps in the literature concerning their application in cancer treatment. We aim to provide an overview of smart and extended-release drug-delivery systems for the delivery of cancer therapies, as well as to introduce innovative advancements in nanoparticle design incorporating these principles. With the growing need for increasingly personalized medicine in cancer treatment, smart extended-release nanoparticles have the potential to enhance chemotherapy delivery, patient adherence, and treatment outcomes in cancer patients.

Keywords: extended drug release; nanomedicine; personalized medicine; smart delivery systems.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods*
  • Drug Liberation*
  • Humans
  • Nanomedicine / methods
  • Nanoparticles / administration & dosage*
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Precision Medicine*


  • Antineoplastic Agents