A major obstacle to advances in anti-vascular therapy is the lack of molecule candidates that are effective in selectively targeting cancer tissues while sparing normal ones. Phage display peptide library greatly eases the discovery of peptides with specific homing capacity. Many novel peptides homing to angiogenic vessels were isolated recently. Notably, many such peptides showed relatively specific affinity with particular tumor types. These peptides appear to be able to accumulate in the target vascular site of tumor, making them particularly efficient to deliver drugs or other therapeutic and imaging agents. Some homing peptides could not only target to the desired location, but also be internalized into targeted cells, or even induce destruction in desired cells all by the same peptide sequence itself. Accumulating evidence has shown that by tumor specific targeting delivery, improved local effect can be achieved with well tolerated side effects. In the current review, recent literatures and patents in this field have been summarized.
Keywords: Anti-vascular therapy, cancer, imaging, vasculature targeting, diagnosis, peptide
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