Background: Paclitaxel (PTX) has been clinically used for several years due to its good therapeutic
effect against cancers. Its poor water-solubility, non-selectivity, high cytotoxicity to normal tissue and worse
pharmacokinetic property limit its clinical application.
Objective: To review the recent progress on the PTX delivery systems.
Methods: In recent years, the copolymeric nano-drug delivery systems for PTX are broadly studied. It mainly
includes micelles, nanoparticles, liposomes, complexes, prodrugs and hydrogels, etc. They were developed or
further modified with target molecules to investigate the release behavior, targeting to tissues, pharmacokinetic
property, anticancer activities and bio-safety of PTX. In the review, we will describe and discuss the recent
progress on the nano-drug delivery system for PTX since 2011.
Results: The water-solubility, selective delivery to cancers, tissue toxicity, controlled release and pharmacokinetic
property of PTX are improved by its encapsulation into the nano-drug delivery systems. In addition, its
activities against cancer are also comparable or high when compared with the commercial formulation.
Conclusion: Encapsulating PTX into nano-drug carriers should be helpful to reduce its toxicity to human, keeping
or enhancing its activity and improving its pharmacokinetic property.