Effective and safe delivery of anticancer agents is among the major challenges in cancer therapy. The majority of anticancer agents are toxic to normal cells, have poor bioavailability, and lack in vivo stability. Recent advancements in nanotechnology provide safe and efficient drug delivery systems for successful delivery of anticancer agents via nanoparticles. The physicochemical and functional properties of the nanoparticle vary for each of these anticancer agents, including chemotherapeutics, nucleic acid-based therapeutics, small molecule inhibitors, and photodynamic agents. The characteristics of the anticancer agents influence the design and development of nanoparticle carriers. Researchers from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center discuss strategies of nanoparticle-based drug delivery for various anticancer agents. Recent advancements in the field are also highlighted, with suitable examples from our own research efforts and from the literature.
Schematic illustration of multifunctional nanoparticles for tumor-targeted delivery of therapeutics and imaging agents using targeted ligands functionalized on the surface of nanocarriers.