Presently, most of the treatment strategies for cancer are focused on the surgical removal of cancerous tumors, along with physical and chemical treatment such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy, respectively. The primary issue associated with these methods is the inhibition of normal cell growth and serious side effects associated with systemic toxicity. The traditional chemotherapeutics which were delivered systemically were inadequate and had serious dose limiting side effects. Recent advances in the development of chemotherapeutics have simultaneously paved the way for efficient targeted drug delivery. Despite the advances in the field of oncogenic drugs, several limitations remain, such as early blood clearance, acquired resistance against cytotoxic agents, toxicity associated with chemotherapeutics, and site-specific drug delivery. Hence, this review article focuses on the recent scientific advancements made in different types of drug delivery systems, including, organic nanocarriers (polymers, albumins, liposomes, and micelles), inorganic nanocarriers (mesoporous silica nanoparticles, gold nanoparticles, platinum nanoparticles, and carbon nanotubes), aptamers, antibody-drug conjugates, and peptides. These targeted drug delivery approaches offer numerous advantages such as site-specific drug delivery, minimal toxicity, better bioavailability, and an increased overall efficacy of the chemotherapeutics. Graphical abstract.
© 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists.