Strategies for the production of long-acting therapeutics and efficient drug delivery for cancer treatment

Biomed Pharmacother. 2019 May;113:108750. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2019.108750. Epub 2019 Mar 5.


Protein therapeutics play a significant role in treating many diseases. They, however, suffer from patient's proteases degradation and antibody neutralization which lead to short plasma half-lives. One of the ways to overcome these pitfalls is the frequent injection of the drug albeit at the cost of patient compliance which affects the quality of life of patients. There are several techniques available to extend the half-life of therapeutics. Two of the most common protocols are PEGylation and fusion with human serum albumin. These two techniques improve stability, reduce immunogenicity, and increase drug resistance to proteases. These factors lead to the reduction of injection frequency which increases patient compliance and improve quality of life. Both techniques have already been used in many FDA approved drugs. This review describes many technologies to produce long-acting drugs with the attention of PEGylation and the genetic fusion with human serum albumin. The report also discusses the latest modified therapeutics in the field and their application in cancer therapy. We compare the modification methods and discuss the pitfalls of these modified drugs.

Keywords: Drug delivery; Half-life extension; Human serum albumin; PEGylations; Protein immunogenicity; Targeted cancer cells.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Polyethylene Glycols / chemistry
  • Quality of Life
  • Serum Albumin, Human / chemistry


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Serum Albumin, Human