Drug resistance to conventional antitumor drugs represents one of the major causes of treatment
failure in patients affected by tumors. Two main types of drug resistance to anticancer drugs are
found in tumors, namely intrinsic resistance, in which tumor cells are inherently resistant to chemotherapy,
and acquired resistance, which results from previous drug exposure. Tumor cells resistant to a chemotherapeutic
agent become cross-resistant to both similar and structurally unrelated classes of antitumor drugs, a biological mechanism
known as multi drug resistance (MDR). Among the strategies considered to overcome MDR, nanovector-mediated drug
administration represents an innovative and promising alternative. In this review, we report a number of nanovectors including
polymer–drug conjugates, polymeric micelles, nanotubes, LbL nanocapsules, and silica and gold nanoparticles.
These systems are designed for the efficient delivery of anthracyclines, vinca alkaloids, taxanes, and others drugs. The development
of these nanovectos to specifically overcome MDR and their mechanisms of action are covered and discussed.
Finally, we discuss challenges and opportunities for further development of nanodevices-based chemotherapies to circumvent
MDR through the design of nanovectors for the delivery of multiple cargoes.
Keywords: Anticancer therapy, drug-resistant cancer, nanodrug delivery, ROS responsive nanodrugs, nucleic acid
delivery, multi drug resistance, NIR responsive nanodrugs.
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