Conventional drugs used for cancer chemotherapy have severe toxic side effects
and show individually varied therapeutic responses. The convergence of nanotechnology,
biology, material science and pharmacy offers a perspective strategy for cancer chemotherapy.
Nanoparticles loaded with anti-cancer drug have been designed to overcome the limitations
associated with conventional drugs, several nanomedicines have been approved by
FDA and shown good performances in clinical practice. However, the therapeutic efficacies
cannot be enhanced. Taking this into account, stimuli responsive nanoparticles present the
ability to enhance therapeutic efficacy and reduce side effects. In this review, we systematically
summarized the recent progresses of controlled anti-cancer drug release systems based
on nanoparticles with different stimuli response including pH, temperature, light, redox and
others. If the achievements of the past can be extrapolated into the future, it is highly likely
that responsive nanoparticles with a wide array of desirable properties can be eventually developed
for safe and efficient cancer therapy.
Keywords: Nanoparticle, stimuli responsive, drug release, anti-cancer, chemotherapy, bioavailability, enhanced
permeation and retention (EPR).
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