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Peptides as targeting agents in nano-architectures for drug delivery


Marketing Director, CPC Scientific Inc.

As investigation into drug delivery platforms for cancer therapeutics continues, more emphasis is being directed towards localization, cellular uptake, and targeting of cancer tissues. Conventional chemotherapy relies on compounds that target rapidly dividing cells like those found in tumor tissues, the bone marrow, immune system, hair follicles, and digestive tract. This inability to distinguish between cancer and healthy cells is a serious drawback of chemotherapy and is associated with commonly known side effects. In addition, cancer cells in tumors are often more protected by the tissues of the solid tumors making passage across the cellular membrane difficult since polar molecules interacted better with charged surface of the phospholipid bilayer of the cell (1). Drugs like Paclitaxel and Camptothecin are lethal to cancer cells but suffer from poor aqueous solubility and low bioavailability making it impossible to administer them intravenously. Efforts to formulate water soluble versions of these drugs has resulted in a change of their physiological properties, loss of antitumor activity, and changes in toxicological profiles (2-4).



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