Tumor Abnormality-Oriented Nanomedicine Design

Chem Rev. 2023 Sep 27;123(18):10920-10989. doi: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.3c00062. Epub 2023 Sep 15.


Anticancer nanomedicines have been proven effective in mitigating the side effects of chemotherapeutic drugs. However, challenges remain in augmenting their therapeutic efficacy. Nanomedicines responsive to the pathological abnormalities in the tumor microenvironment (TME) are expected to overcome the biological limitations of conventional nanomedicines, enhance the therapeutic efficacies, and further reduce the side effects. This Review aims to quantitate the various pathological abnormalities in the TME, which may serve as unique endogenous stimuli for the design of stimuli-responsive nanomedicines, and to provide a broad and objective perspective on the current understanding of stimuli-responsive nanomedicines for cancer treatment. We dissect the typical transport process and barriers of cancer drug delivery, highlight the key design principles of stimuli-responsive nanomedicines designed to tackle the series of barriers in the typical drug delivery process, and discuss the "all-into-one" and "one-for-all" strategies for integrating the needed properties for nanomedicines. Ultimately, we provide insight into the challenges and future perspectives toward the clinical translation of stimuli-responsive nanomedicines.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents* / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Humans
  • Nanomedicine
  • Nanoparticles*
  • Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Tumor Microenvironment


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations