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J Drug Target. 2019 Apr;27(4):394-407. doi: 10.1080/1061186X.2018.1514040. Epub 2018 Sep 5.

Recent progress on biocompatible nanocarrier-based genistein delivery systems in cancer therapy.

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a Department of Chemistry , Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) , Gwangju , South Korea.


Diets with naturally occuring chemopreventive agents are showing good potentials in serving dual purposes: firstly, for maintaining health, and secondly, for emerging as most puissant cost-effective strategy against chronic diseases like cancer. Genistein, one of the active soy isoflavone, is gaining attention due to its ability to impede carcinogenic processes by regulating wide range of associated molecules and signalling mechanisms. Epidemiologic and preclinical evidences suggest that sufficient consumption of soy-based food having genistein can be correlated to the reduction of cancer risk. However, certain adverse effects like poor oral bioavailability, low aqueous solubility and inefficient pharmacokinetics have pushed it down in the list of phytoconstituents currently undergoing successful clinical trials. In order to maximise the utilisation of therapeutic benefits of this phytoestrogen, suitable drug carrier designs are required. Recently, nanocarriers, mainly composed of polymeric materials, are progressively and innovatively exploited with the aim to improve pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of genistein. Here, we have briefly reviewed (a) the targeted molecular mechanisms of geinstein, (b) nanopolymeric approaches opted so far in designing carriers and (c) the reasons behind their restricted clinical applications. Finally, some mechanism-based approaches are proposed presenting genistein as the future paradigm in cancer therapy.


Genistein; anti-cancer; drug delivery; nutritional therapy; polymer nanocarrier

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