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Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2011 Sep 10;63(10-11):876-85. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2011.05.020. Epub 2011 Jun 28.

Advances in lymphatic imaging and drug delivery.

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1
Energy and Environment Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99352, USA.

Abstract

Cancer remains the second leading cause of death after heart disease in the US. While metastasized cancers such as breast, prostate, and colon are incurable, before their distant spread, these diseases have invaded the lymphatic system as a first step in their progression. Hence, proper evaluation of the disease state of the lymphatics which drain a tumor site is crucial to staging and the formation of a treatment plan. Current lymphatic imaging modalities with visible dyes and radionucleotide tracers offer limited sensitivity and poor resolution; however, newer tools using nanocarriers, quantum dots, and magnetic resonance imaging promise to vastly improve the staging of lymphatic spread without needless biopsies. Concurrent with the improvement of lymphatic imaging agents, has been the development of drug carriers that can localize chemotherapy to the lymphatic system, thus improving the treatment of localized disease while minimizing the exposure of healthy organs to cytotoxic drugs. This review will focus on the use of various nanoparticulate and polymeric systems that have been developed for imaging and drug delivery to the lymph system, how these new devices improve upon current technologies, and where further improvement is needed.

PMID:
21718728
PMCID:
PMC3164439
DOI:
10.1016/j.addr.2011.05.020
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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