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J Control Release. 2008 Sep 10;130(2):107-14. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2008.05.024. Epub 2008 Jun 25.

Receptor targeted polymers, dendrimers, liposomes: which nanocarrier is the most efficient for tumor-specific treatment and imaging?

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Department of Pharmaceutics, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA.


To compare the influence of different characteristics of nanocarriers on the efficacy of chemotherapy and imaging, we designed, characterized, and evaluated three widely used nanocarriers: linear polymer, dendrimer and liposome in vitro and in vivo. These nanocarriers delivered the same anticancer drug (paclitaxel) and/or imaging agent (Cy5.5). A synthetic analog of LHRH peptide targeted to receptors overexpressed on the membrane of cancer cells was attached to the nanocarriers as a tumor targeting moiety. Significant differences were found between various studied non-targeted carriers in their cellular internalization, cytotoxicity, tumor and organ distribution and anticancer efficacy. LHRH peptide substantially enhanced intratumoral accumulation and anticancer efficacy of all delivery systems and minimized their adverse side effects. For the first time, the present study revealed that the targeting of nanocarriers to tumor-specific receptors minimizes the influence of the architecture, composition, size and molecular mass of nanocarriers on the efficacy of imaging and cancer treatment.

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