Opportunities and Challenges for Personalized Cancer Therapy Using Biotargeted Nanomedicines

F. Uckun
University of Southern California, US

Keywords: cancer, biotargeted nanomedicine


Nanotechnology-enabled delivery of anti-cancer therapeutics is an area of intense translational research. Nanoparticle therapeutics containing active anti-cancer agents may provide the foundation for potentially more effective and less toxic anti-cancer treatment strategies due to their improved pharmacokinetics, reduced systemic toxicity, and increased intra-tumoral/intracellular delivery. Nanoparticles can be functionalized with a tumor targeting moiety such as a ligand or antibody directed against a surface receptor on cancer cells to generate biotargeted nanomedicines in order to achieve optimal tumor targeting and site-specific drug delivery to further reduce their toxicity and improve their efficacy. Rationally designed biotargeted anticancer nanomedicines have the potential to substantially improve the therapeutic index of their “payload” by (1) increasing their potency via (a) selective delivery to target cancer cells as well as (b) improved cellular pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamics (PK/PD) features that avoid the multi-drug resistance associated drug efflux pumps and (2) reducing their systemic toxicity and undesired off-target effects.