Bio-vehicles of cytotoxic drugs for delivery to tumor specific targets for cancer precision therapy
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Abnormal structural and molecular changes in malignant tissues were thoroughly investigated and utilized to target tumor cells, hence rescuing normal healthy tissues and lowering the unwanted side effects as non-specific cytotoxicity. Various ligands for cancer cell specific markers have been uncovered and inspected for directional delivery of the anti-cancer drug to the tumor site, in addition to diagnostic applications. Over the past few decades research related to the ligand targeted therapy (LTT) increased tremendously aiming to treat various pathologies, mainly cancers with well exclusive markers. Malignant tumors are known to induce elevated levels of a variety of proteins and peptides known as cancer “markers” as certain antigens (e.g., Prostate specific membrane antigen “PSMA”, carcinoembryonic antigen “CEA”), receptors (folate receptor, somatostatin receptor), integrins (Integrin αvβ3) and cluster of differentiation molecules (CD13). The choice of an appropriate marker to be targeted and the design of effective ligand-drug conjugate all has to be carefully selected to generate the required therapeutic effect. Moreover, since some tumors express aberrantly high levels of more than one marker, some approaches investigated targeting cancer cells with more than one ligand (dual or multi targeting). We aim in this review to report an update on the cancer-specific receptors and the vehicles to deliver cytotoxic drugs, including recent advancements on nano delivery systems and their implementation in targeted cancer therapy. We will discuss the advantages and limitations facing this approach and possible solutions to mitigate these obstacles. To achieve the said aim a literature search in electronic data bases (PubMed and others) using keywords “Cancer specific receptors, cancer specific antibody, tumor specific peptide carriers, cancer overexpressed proteins, gold nanotechnology and gold nanoparticles in cancer treatment” was carried out.
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