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Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2017 Jun;16(6):400-423. doi: 10.1038/nrd.2016.248. Epub 2017 Feb 3.

Targeting iron metabolism in drug discovery and delivery.

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Department of Polymer Chemistry and Bioengineering, Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 4, 9747 AG Groningen, The Netherlands.
W. J. Kolff Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science, University Medical Center Groningen, 9713 AV Groningen, The Netherlands.
Department of Nanomedicine and Theranostics, Institute for Experimental Molecular Imaging, University Clinic and Helmholtz Institute for Biomedical Engineering, RWTH Aachen University, 52074 Aachen, Germany.
Department of Pharmaceutics, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht University, 3584 CG Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Department of Targeted Therapeutics, MIRA Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine, University of Twente, 7522 NB Enschede, The Netherlands.
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Abramson Research Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.


Iron fulfils a central role in many essential biochemical processes in human physiology; thus, proper processing of iron is crucial. Although iron metabolism is subject to relatively strict physiological control, numerous disorders, such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, have recently been linked to deregulated iron homeostasis. Consequently, iron metabolism constitutes a promising and largely unexploited therapeutic target for the development of new pharmacological treatments for these diseases. Several iron metabolism-targeted therapies are already under clinical evaluation for haematological disorders, and these and newly developed therapeutic agents are likely to have substantial benefit in the clinical management of iron metabolism-associated diseases, for which few efficacious treatments are currently available.

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