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Expert Opin Drug Deliv. 2015 Jul;12(7):1177-201. doi: 10.1517/17425247.2015.998648. Epub 2015 Jan 20.

Nanocarrier-mediated drugs targeting cancer stem cells: an emerging delivery approach.

Author information

1
University of Manitoba, College of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health Sciences , 750 McDermot Avenue Winnipeg, MB R3E 0H5 , Canada.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) play an important role in the development of drug resistance, metastasis and recurrence. Current conventional therapies do not commonly target CSCs. Nanocarrier-based delivery systems targeting cancer cells have entered a new era of treatment, where specific targeting to CSCs may offer superior outcomes to efficient cancer therapies.

AREAS COVERED:

This review discusses the involvement of CSCs in tumor progression and relevant mechanisms associated with CSCs resistance to conventional chemo- and radio-therapies. It highlights CSCs-targeted strategies that are either under evaluation or could be explored in the near future, with a focus on various nanocarrier-based delivery systems of drugs and nucleic acids to CSCs. Novel nanocarriers targeting CSCs are presented in a cancer-specific way to provide a current perspective on anti-CSCs therapeutics.

EXPERT OPINION:

The field of CSCs-targeted therapeutics is still emerging with a few small molecules and macromolecules currently proving efficacy in clinical trials. However considering the complexities of CSCs and existing delivery difficulties in conventional anticancer therapies, CSC-specific delivery systems would face tremendous technical and clinical challenges. Nanocarrier-based approaches have demonstrated significant potential in specific drug delivery and targeting; their success in CSCs-targeted drug delivery would not only significantly enhance anticancer treatment but also address current difficulties associated with cancer resistance, metastasis and recurrence.

KEYWORDS:

anti-cancer stem cell therapeutics; cancer stem cells; drug delivery; nanocarriers; tumor resistance

PMID:
25601619
DOI:
10.1517/17425247.2015.998648
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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