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The Use of Alternative Strategies for Enhanced Nanoparticle Delivery to Solid Tumors

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Nanomaterial (NM) delivery to solid tumors has been the focus of intense research for over a decade. Classically, scientists have tried to improve NM delivery by employing passive or active targeting strategies, making use of the so-called enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect. This phenomenon is made possible due to the leaky tumor vasculature through which NMs can leave the bloodstream, traverse through the gaps in the endothelial lining of the vessels, and enter the tumor. Recent studies have shown that despite many efforts to employ the EPR effect, this process remains very poor. Furthermore, the role of the EPR effect has been called into question, where it has been suggested that NMs enter the tumor via active mechanisms and not through the endothelial gaps. In this review, we provide a short overview of the EPR and mechanisms to enhance it, after which we focus on alternative delivery strategies that do not solely rely on EPR in itself but can offer interesting pharmacological, physical, and biological solutions for enhanced delivery. We discuss the strengths and shortcomings of these different strategies and suggest combinatorial approaches as the ideal path forward.
Journal: Chemical Reviews
ISSN: 0009-2665
Issue: 3
Volume: 121
Pages: 1746 - 1803
Number of pages: 58
Publication year:2021