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Acta Biomater. 2019 Sep 10. pii: S1742-7061(19)30621-X. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2019.09.009. [Epub ahead of print]

Tumor microenvironment targeted nanotherapeutics for cancer therapy and diagnosis: A review.

Author information

1
National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) - Ahmedabad (An Institute of National Importance, Government of India), Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Palaj, Opp. Air Force Station, Gandhinagar 382355, Gujarat, India.
2
National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) - Ahmedabad (An Institute of National Importance, Government of India), Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Palaj, Opp. Air Force Station, Gandhinagar 382355, Gujarat, India; Department of Materials Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology-Jammu, Jagti, PO Nagrota, Jammu - 181 221, J&K, India. Electronic address: rakeshtekade@gmail.com.

Abstract

Recent findings suggest that the cellular and extracellular materials surrounding the cancerous cells from an atypical tumor microenvironment (TM) play a pivotal role in the process of tumor initiation and progression. TM comprises an intricate system involving diverse cell types including endothelial cells, pericytes, smooth muscle cells, fibroblasts, various inflammatory cells, dendritic cells, and cancer stem cells (CSCs). The TM-forming cells dynamically interact with the cancerous cells through various signaling mechanisms and pathways. The existence of this dynamic cellular communication is responsible for creating an environment suitable for sustaining a reasonably high cellular proliferation. Presently, researchers are showing interest to use these TM conditions to mediate effective targeting measures for cancer therapy. The use of nanotherapeutics-based combination therapy; stimuli-responsive nanotherapeutics targeting acidic pH, hypoxic environment; and nanoparticle-induced hyperthermia are some of the approaches that are under intense investigation for cancer therapy. This review discusses TM and its role in cancer progression and crosstalk understanding, opportunities, and epigenetic modifications involved therein to materialize the capability of nanotherapeutics to target cancer by availing TM. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: This article presents various recent reports, proof-of-concept studies, patents, and clinical trials on the concept of tumor microenvironment for mediating the cancer-specific delivery of nanotechnology-based systems bearing anticancer drug and diagnostics. We highlight the potential of tumor microenvironment; its role in disease progression, opportunities, challenges, and allied treatment strategies for effective cancer therapy by conceptual understanding of tumor microenvironment and epigenetic modifications involved. Specifically, nanoparticle-based approaches to target various processes related to tumor microenvironment (pH responsive, hypoxic environment responsive, targeting of specific cells involved in tumor microenvironment, etc.) are dealt in detail.

KEYWORDS:

Chemotherapy and diagnosis; Metabolic reprogramming; Nanotherapeutics; Tumor microenvironment

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