Due to a very poor specificity, many chemotherapy agents generate a low antitumor effect and important severe side effects. Poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA)-based nanomedicines are under investigation to assure a very efficient anticancer activity in chemotherapy. In this work, we analyze the major applications of this FDA-approved biodegradable polymer in the formulation of nanomedicines against cancer. Despite conventional PLGA colloids could be only used to target tumors located into the mononuclear phagocyte system (MPS), special strategies are under intensive research to enhance the accumulation of anticancer drugs into any given tumor site. These are passive targeting (through the enhanced permeability and retention effect, so-called EPR effect), drug delivery through stimuli-sensitive colloids, and ligand-mediated targeting. We further discuss unique approaches of PLGA colloids in oral chemotherapy, drug delivery to brain tumors, and multi-drug resistance of cancer cells.
Keywords: Cancer treatment, enhanced permeability and retention effect, ligand-mediated targeting, multi-drug resistance, oral chemotherapy, drug delivery to brain tumors, poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA), stimuli-sensitive carrier
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