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Ther Deliv. 2017 Mar;8(5):331-342. doi: 10.4155/tde-2016-0080.

Synergistic efficacy of ultrasound, sonosensitizers and chemotherapy: a review.

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Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic, University of California, Irvine, CA 92612, USA.
Department of Health Physics & Diagnostic Sciences, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV 89154, USA.


Chemotherapeutic agents, either in the form of systemically injected free drug or encapsulated in nanoparticles transport vehicles, must overcome three main obstacles prior to reaching and interacting with their intended target inside tumor cells. Drugs must leave the circulation, overcome the tissue-tumor barrier and penetrate the cell's plasma membrane. Since, many agents enter the cell by endocytosis, they must avoid entrapment and degradation by the intracellular endolysosome complex. Ultrasound has demonstrated potential to enhance the efficacy of chemotherapy by reducing these barriers. The purpose of this review is to highlight the potential of ultrasound in combination with sonosensitizers to enhance the efficacy of chemotherapy by optimizing the anticancer agent's intracellular ability to engage and interact with its target.


chemotherapy; endosomal escape; sonochemical internalization; sonodynamic therapy; sonosensitizers; tumor spheroids; ultrasonic activation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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