The cluster-determinant 44 (CD44) receptor has a high affinity for hyaluronic acid (HA) binding and is a desirable receptor for active targeting based on its overexpression in cancer cells compared with normal body cells. The nanocarrier affinity can be increased by conjugating drug-loaded carriers with HA, allowing enhanced cancer cell uptake via the HA-CD44 receptor-mediated endocytosis pathway. In this review, we discuss recent advances in HA-based nanocarriers and micelles for cancer therapy. In vitro and in vivo experiments have repeatedly indicated HA-based nanocarriers to be a target-specific drug and gene delivery platform with great promise for future applications in clinical cancer therapy.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.