Polymer-drug conjugates: current status and future trends
Greco, F. and Vicent, M. J. (2008) Polymer-drug conjugates: current status and future trends. Frontiers in Bioscience, 13. pp. 2744-2756. ISSN 1093-9946
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To link to this article DOI: 10.2741/2882
Polymer conjugates are nano-sized, multicomponent constructs already in the clinic as anticancer compounds, both as single agents or as elements of combinations. They have the potential to improve pharmacological therapy of a variety of solid tumors. Polymer-drug conjugation promotes passive tumor targeting by the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect and allows for lysosomotropic drug delivery following endocytic capture. In the first part of this review, we analyze the promising results arising from clinical trials of polymer-bound chemotherapy. The experience gained on these studies provides the basis for the development of a more sophisticated second-generation of polymer conjugates. However, many challenges still lay ahead providing scope to develop and refine this field. The "technology platform'' of polymer therapeutics allows the development of both new and exciting polymeric materials, the incorporation of novel bioactive agents and combinations thereof to address recent advances in drug therapy. The rational design of polymer drug conjugates is expected to realize the true potential of these "nanomedicines".
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