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Drug Discov Today. 2002 Nov 15;7(22):1138-43.

Drug targeting to specific vascular sites.

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Cancer Research Center, The Burnham Institute, 10901 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


The blood vessels of individual tissues are biochemically distinct, and pathological lesions put their own signature on the vasculature. In tumors, both blood and lymphatic vessels differ from normal vessels. New methods, such as in vivo screening of phage libraries, have provided peptides and antibodies that recognize these vascular signatures and can be used in targeted delivery of therapeutic agents. Targeting a therapy to the diseased tissue enhances the efficacy of the treatment while reducing the side effects in mouse experiments. Results from drug delivery to tumor vessels have been particularly encouraging.

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