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Application of active targeting nanoparticle delivery system for chemotherapeutic drugs and traditional/herbal medicines in cancer therapy: a systematic review

Authors Muhamad N, Plengsuriyakarn T, Na-Bangchang K

Received 10 February 2018

Accepted for publication 23 March 2018

Published 4 July 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 3921—3935

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S165210

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Yu Mi

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas Webster


Nadda Muhamad,1 Tullayakorn Plengsuriyakarn,1,2 Kesara Na-Bangchang1,2

1Chulabhorn International College of Medicine, Thammasat University, Pathumthani, Thailand; 2Center of Excellence in Pharmacology and Molecular Biology of Malaria and Cholangiocarcinoma, Chulabhorn International College of Medicine, Thammasat University, Pathumthani, Thailand

Abstract: Patients treated with conventional cancer chemotherapy suffer from side effects of the drugs due to non-selective action of chemotherapeutic drugs to normal cells. Active targeting nanoparticles that are conjugated to targeting ligands on the surface of nanoparticles play an important role in improving drug selectivity to the cancer cell. Several chemotherapeutic drugs and traditional/herbal medicines reported for anticancer activities have been investigated for their selective delivery to cancer cells by active targeting nanoparticles. This systematic review summarizes reports on this application. Literature search was conducted through PubMed database search up to March 2017 using the terms nanoparticle, chemotherapy, traditional medicine, herbal medicine, natural medicine, natural compound, cancer treatment, and active targeting. Out of 695 published articles, 61 articles were included in the analysis based on the predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria. The targeting ligands included proteins/peptides, hyaluronic acid, folic acid, antibodies/antibody fragments, aptamer, and carbohydrates/polysaccharides. In vitro and in vivo studies suggest that active targeting nanoparticles increase selectivity in cellular uptake and/or cytotoxicity over the conventional chemotherapeutic drugs and non-targeted nanoparticle platform, particularly enhancement of drug efficacy and safety. However, clinical studies are required to confirm these findings.

Keywords: active targeting, nanoparticles, ligands, chemotherapy, natural active compounds, cancer

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