Cancer has been described as one of the major and leading causes of death worldwide. By the year 2030,
it has been postulated that over 21.4 million new cases of cancer could be expected, 17 million cancer deaths yearly
and a total of 75 million people will be living with cancer within five years of diagnosis. Chemotherapy is the main
therapeutic intervention for treating people living with SCC. However, drug resistance has rendered it inefficient
and ineffective in combating the disease even after combination chemotherapy. Many peptides and proteins have
been investigated to possess biological activities that mark them as potential anti-cancer agents. Targeting peptides
are conjugated with other functional peptides or nanoparticles to augment drug delivery both in vitro and in vivo assays.
The current identification of tumor-homing peptides through phage display technology has opened a new
strategy for targeted therapy in SCC diseases. Despite the advances in cancer nanomedicine, targeted approaches in the delivery of therapeutics
for the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma related tumours have not been well established. In this review, current drugs employed
in cancer nanomedicine are highlighted, possible rate limiting factors for the application of polymeric materials in cancer
nanomedicine are elucidated and functionalized nano-constructs using receptor ligands and homing peptides as targeted moieties are discussed.
The combinatorial strategy of attaching both homing peptides and receptor ligands as dual moieties on nano-cargos should further
strengthen the advantages of each technology in cancer targeted therapy.
Keywords: Cancer, chemotherapy, homing peptides, nanoparticles, receptor ligands, squamous cell carcinoma.
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