Main Article Content
Cancer is one of the major causes of mortality worldwide and advanced techniques for therapy are urgently needed. The development of novel nanomaterials and nanocarriers has allowed a major drive to improve drug delivery in cancer. The major aim of most nanocarrier applications has been to protect the drug from rapid degradation after systemic delivery and allowing it to reach tumor site at therapeutic concentrations, meanwhile avoiding drug delivery to normal sites as much as possible to reduce adverse effects. Nanocarriers preferentially accumulate in the tumor through passive targeting due to a leaky vasculature and defective lymphatic drainage in solid tumors. The permeability of a chaotic vasculature and tumor microenvironment (TME) and retention can lead to the accumulation of macromolecules in TME by 70-fold.The rational design of nanoparticles plays a critical role since structural and physical characteristics, such as size, charge, shape, and surface characteristics determine the biodistribution, pharmacokinetics, internalization and safety of the drugs. In this review, we focus on several novel and improved strategies in nanocarrier design for cancer therapy.