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Trends Biotechnol. 2008 Oct;26(10):552-8. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2008.06.007. Epub 2008 Aug 21.

Does a targeting ligand influence nanoparticle tumor localization or uptake?

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Department of Oncology, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington DC 20057-1469, USA.


Inclusion of a tumor-targeting molecule in nanosized delivery systems increases their in vivo efficacy. However, the biodistribution and pharmacokinetics of the uptake of such particles have not yet been well addressed. Several recent papers have suggested that tumor-targeting ligands function primarily to increase intracellular uptake of the nanocomplex and do not influence tumor localization. However, other reports indicate that they do play a role in the accumulation in the tumor. One difference might be the presence or absence of poly-[ethylene glycol] (PEG) in the complex and its impact on the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect. Further studies are clearly needed to more fully elucidate the influence of composition on tumor-targeted, systemic delivery of nanoparticles.

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