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Current Pharmaceutical Design


ISSN (Print): 1381-6128
ISSN (Online): 1873-4286

Lymphatic Targeting of Nanosystems for Anticancer Drug Therapy

Author(s): Raquel Abellan-Pose, Noemi Csaba and Maria Jose Alonso

Volume 22, Issue 9, 2016

Page: [1194 - 1209] Pages: 16

DOI: 10.2174/1381612822666151216150809

Price: $65


The lymphatic system represents a major route of dissemination in metastatic cancer. Given the lack of selectivity of conventional chemotherapy to prevent lymphatic metastasis, in the last years there has been a growing interest in the development of nanocarriers showing lymphotropic characteristics. The goal of this lymphotargeting strategy is to facilitate the delivery of anticancer drugs to the lymph node-resident cancer cells, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of the anti-cancer therapies. This article focuses on the nanosystems described so far for the active or passive targeting of oncological drugs to the lymphatic circulation. To understand the design and performance of these nanosystems, we will discuss first the physiology of the lymphatic system and how physiopathological changes associated to tumor growth influence the biodistribution of nanocarriers. Second, we provide evidence on how the tailoring of the physicochemical characteristics of nanosystems, i.e. particle size, surface charge and hydrophilicity, allows the modulation of their access to the lymphatic circulation. Finally, we provide an overview of the relationship between the biodistribution and antimetastatic activity of the nanocarriers loaded with oncological drugs, and illustrate the most promising active targeting approaches investigated so far.

Keywords: Lymphatic targeting, lymph nodes, anticancer drug delivery, metastases, nanocarriers, particle size, surface properties.

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