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Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2006 Jan;6(1):39-54.

Selective delivery of therapeutic agents for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

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Vermont Comprehensive Cancer Center, Department of Surgery, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT 05405, USA.


Research activity aimed towards achieving specific and targeted delivery of cancer therapeutics has expanded tremendously in the last decade, resulting in new ways of directing drugs to tumours, as well as new types of drugs. The available strategies exploit differences in the nature of normal and cancer cells and their microenvironment. The discovery and validation of cancer-associated markers, as well as corresponding ligands, is pivotal for developing selective delivery technology for cancer. Although most current clinical trials are either monoclonal antibody- or gene-based, methodological advances in combinatorial libraries of peptides, single chain variable fragments and small organic molecules are expected to change this scenario in the near future. Nanotechnology platforms today allow systematic and modular combinations of therapeutic agents and tumour-binding moieties that may generate novel, personalised agents for selective delivery in cancer. This paper discusses recent developments and future prospects of targeted delivery technologies in the management of cancer.

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