Resistance of cancer cells to anticancer drugs is the main reason for the failure of traditional cancer treatments. Various cellular components and different loops within the signaling pathways contribute to drug resistance which could be modulated with the aim to restore drug efficacy. Unveiling the molecular mechanisms for cancer drug resistance has now paved the way for the development of novel approaches to regulate the response rates to anticancer drugs at the genetic level. The recent progress on identification and validation of the vital genes directly or indirectly involved in development of cancer drug resistance with the aid of the specific knock down ability of RNA interference technology is discussed in this review.
A tumor serves as a major avenue in drug development owing to its complexity. Conventional therapies against tumors possess limitations such as suboptimal therapeutic efficacy and extreme side effects. These display poor pharmacokinetics and lack specific targeting, with non-specific distribution resulting in systemic toxicity. Therefore, nanocarriers targeted against cancers are increasingly being explored. Nanomedicine aids in maintaining a balance between efficacy and toxicity by specifically accumulating in tumors. Nanotherapeutics possess advantages such as increased solubility of chemotherapeutics, encapsulation of multiple drugs and improved biodistribution, and can ensure tumor-directed drug delivery and release via the approaches of passive targeting and active targeting. This review aims to offer a general overview of the current advances in tumor-targeting nanocarriers for clinical and diagnostic use.
Dendrimers are novel nanoarchitectures with unique properties including a globular 3D shape, a monodispersed unimicellar nature and a nanometric size range. The availability of multiple peripheral functional groups and tunable surface engineering enable the facile modification of the dendrimer surface with different therapeutic drugs, diagnostic agents and targeting ligands. Drug encapsulation, and solubilizing and passive targeting also equally contribute to the therapeutic use of dendrimers. In this review, we highlight recent advances in the delivery of anticancer drugs using dendrimers, as well as other biomedical and diagnostic applications. Taken together, the immense potential and utility of dendrimers are envisaged to have a significant positive impact on the growing arena of drug delivery and targeting.
Highly controllable dendritic structural design means dendrimers are a leading carrier in drug delivery applications. Dendrimer- and other nanocarrier-based hybrid systems are an emerging platform in the field of drug delivery. This review is a compilation of increasing reports of dendrimer interactions, such as dendrimer-liposome, dendrimer-carbon-nanotube, among others, known as hybrid carriers. This should prompt entirely new research with promising results for these hybrid carriers. It is assumed that such emerging hybrid nanosystems - from combining two already-established drug delivery platforms - could lead the way for the development of newer delivery systems with multiple applicability for latent theranostic applications in the future.
Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have garnered much attention as contrast agents for computerized tomography (CT) because of their facile synthesis and surface functionalization, in addition to their significant X-ray attenuation and minimal cytotoxicity. Cell labeling using AuNPs and tracking of the labeled cells using CT has become a time-efficient and cost-effective method. Actively targeted AuNPs can enhance CT contrast and sensitivity, and further reduce the radiation dosage needed during CT imaging. In this review, we summarize the state-of-the-art use of AuNPs in CT for cell tracking, including the precautionary steps necessary for their use and the difficulty in translating the process into clinical use.
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.
Lyotropic nonlamellar liquid crystalline nanoparticles (NPs) (LCN), such as cubosomes and hexosomes, are useful tools for applications in drug delivery because of their unique structural properties. LCNs are highly versatile carriers that can be applied for use with topical, oral, and intravenous treatments. In recent years, significant research has focused on improving their preparation and characterization, including controlling drug release and enhancing the efficacy of loaded bioactive molecules. Nevertheless, the clinical translation of LCN-based carriers has been slow. In this review, we highlight recent advances and challenges in the development and application of LCN, providing examples of their topical, oral, and intravenous drug delivery applications, and discussing translational obstacles to LCN as a NP technology.
The merger of nanotechnology and combination chemotherapy has shown notable promise in the therapy of resistant tumors. The latest scientific attention encompasses the engagement of anticancer drugs in combination with small interfering (si)RNAs, such as VEGF, XLAP, PGP, MRP-1, BCL-2 and cMyc, to name but a few. siRNAs have shown immense promise to knockout drug resistance genes as well as to recover the sensitivity of resistant tumors to anticancer therapy. The nanotechnology approach could also protect siRNA against RNAse degradation as well as prevent off-target effects. In this article, we discuss the approaches that have been used to deliver of siRNA in combination with chemotherapeutic drugs to treat resistant tumors. We also discuss the stipulations that must be considered in formulating a nanotechnology-assisted siRNA-drug cancer therapy.
Topical photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a non-invasive technique used in the treatment of malignant and non-malignant skin diseases. It offers great promise because of its simplicity, enhanced patient compliance, localisation of the photosensitizer, as well as the use of light and oxygen to achieve photocytotoxicity. Despite progress in photosensitizer-mediated topical PDT, its clinical application is limited by poor penetration of photosensitizers through the skin. Therefore, much effort has been made to develop nanocarriers that can tackle the challenges of conventional photosensitizer-mediated PDT for topical delivery. This review discusses recent data on the use of different types of lipid-based nanocarriers in delivering photosensitizer for topical PDT.
Global research on polyelectrolytes at a fundamental and applied level is intensifying because the advantages of sustainability are being accepted in academia and industrial research settings. During recent decades, polyelectrolytes became one of the most attractive subjects of scientific research owing to their great potential in the areas of advanced technologies. Polyelectrolytes are a type of polymer that have multitudinous ionizable functional groups. Ionized polyelectrolytes in solution can form a complex with oppositely charged polyelectrolytes - a polyelectrolyte complex (PEC). The present article provides a comprehensive review on PECs and their classification, theory and characterization, as well as a critical analysis of the current research.
Maintenance of oral health is a major challenge in dentistry. Different materials have been used to treat various dental diseases, although treatment success is limited by features of the biomaterials used. To overcome these limitations, materials incorporated with nanoparticles (NPs) can be used in dental applications including endodontics, periodontics, tissue engineering, oral surgery, and imaging. The unique properties of NPs, including their surface:volume ratio, antibacterial action, physical, mechanical, and biological characteristics, and unique particle size have rendered them effective vehicles for dental applications. In this review, we provide insights into the various applications of NPs in dentistry, including their benefits, limitations, properties, actions and future potential.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, noncoding RNAs regulating gene expression at the post-translational level. miRNA-based therapeutic agents are important because of the functionality of miRNAs in regulating lipid and glucose metabolism and their role in the pathogenesis of metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity, where dysregulation leads to disease; they are also important in angiogenesis. miRNAs additionally serve as biomarkers in the diagnosis, prognosis and risk assessment of disease and in monitoring the response to treatment. Here, we provide a brief overview of progress in miRNA-based therapeutics in the preclinical and clinical setting and highlight the novel outcomes and opportunities in the diagnosis and treatment of metabolic conditions. In addition, we present the role of miRNAs in stem cell therapy which could have great potential in regenerative medicine.
Galactosylated nanocarriers have recently emerged as viable and versatile tools to deliver drugs at an optimal rate specifically to their target tissues or cells, thus maximizing their therapeutic benefits while circumventing off-target effects. The abundance of lectin receptors on cell surfaces makes the galactosylated carriers suitable for the targeted delivery of bioactives. Additionally, tethering of galactose (GAL) to various carriers, including micelles, liposomes, and nanoparticles (NPs), might also be appropriate for drug delivery. Here, we review recent advances in the development of galactosylated nanocarriers for active tumor targeting. We also provide a brief overview of the targeting mechanisms and cell receptor theory involved in the ligand-receptor-mediated delivery of drug carriers.
Nanotechnology has gained significant interest from biomedical and analytical researchers in recent years. Carbon dots (C-dots), a new member of the carbon nanomaterial family, are spherical, nontoxic, biocompatible, and discrete particles less than 10nm in diameter. Research interest has focused on C-dots because of their ultra-compact nanosize, favorable biocompatibility, outstanding photoluminescence, superior electron transfer ability, and versatile surface engineering properties. C-dots show significant potential for use in cellular imaging, biosensing, targeted drug delivery, and other biomedical applications. Here we discuss C-dots, in terms of their physicochemical properties, fabrication techniques, toxicity issues, surface engineering and biomedical potential in drug delivery, targeting as well as bioimaging.
Several randomized clinical trials have divulged that administration of antioxidants during chemotherapy decreases the effectiveness of treatment. Hence, the characteristic feature of this article is extensive assessment of putative benefits and potential risks of natural and synthetic antioxidant supplementation, administered with chemotherapy, based upon the available preclinical and clinical data. After analyzing mixed results, it was concluded that current FDA guidelines should be followed before supplementing antioxidants during cytotoxic treatment. Nevertheless, contradictory experimental animal models opposing human clinical trials discourage the concurrent administration of antioxidants ostensibly owing to the possibility of tumor protection and reduced survival.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) are revolutionizing the treatment of many cancers and have demonstrated their potential as 'cancer terminators'. However, ICI treatment also has constraints, such as its immune-related adverse events (irAEs) and therapeutic resistance. These drawbacks are gradually being overcome through better knowledge of the immune system, history of disease, duration of treatment, combinational drug regimes, adequate biomarkers, and effective patient response monitoring. In this review, we discuss the present ICI therapy landscape and its therapeutic outcomes for various diseases. We also highlight biomarkers related to the ICI response.
Peptides and proteins have emerged as potential therapeutic agents and, in the search for the best treatment regimen, the oral route has been extensively evaluated because of its non-invasive and safe nature. The physicochemical properties of peptides and proteins along with the hurdles in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), such as degrading enzymes and permeation barriers, are challenges to their delivery. To address these challenges, several conventional and novel approaches, such as nanocarriers, site-specific and stimuli specific delivery, are being used. In this review, we discuss the challenges to the oral delivery of peptides and the approaches used to tackle these challenges.
Theranostics has the potential to revolutionize the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of cancer, where novel drug delivery systems could be used to detect the disease at an early stage with instantaneous treatment. Various preclinical approaches of nanoemulsions with entrapped contrast and chemotherapeutic agents have been documented to act specifically on the tumor microenvironment (TME) for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. However, bringing these theranostic nanoemulsions through preclinical trials to patients requires several fundamental hurdles to be overcome, including the in vivo behavior of the delivery tool, degradation, and clearance from the system, as well as long-term toxicities. Here, we discuss recent advances in the application of nanoemulsions in molecular imaging with simultaneous therapeutic efficacy in a single delivery system.
Smart nanocarriers obtained from bacteria and viruses offer excellent biomimetic properties which has led to significant research into the creation of advanced biomimetic materials. Their versatile biomimicry has application as biosensors, biomedical scaffolds, immobilization, diagnostics, and targeted or personalized treatments. The inherent natural traits of biomimetic and bioinspired bacteria- and virus-derived nanovesicles show potential for their use in clinical vaccines and novel therapeutic drug delivery systems. The past few decades have seen significant progress in the bioengineering of bacteria and viruses to manipulate and enhance their therapeutic benefits. From a pharmaceutical perspective, biomimetics enable the safe integration of naturally occurring bacteria and virus particles to achieve high, stable rates of cellular transfection/infection and prolonged circulation times. In addition, biomimetic technologies can overcome safety concerns associated with live-attenuated and inactivated whole bacteria or viruses. In this review, we provide an update on the utilization of bacterial and viral particles as drug delivery systems, theranostic carriers, and vaccine/immunomodulation modalities.