Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) 2018 03 2823(4) pii 10.3390/molecules23040777
Despite the advances in anticancer therapies, their effectiveness for many human tumors is still far from being optimal. Significant improvements in treatment efficacy can come from the enhancement of drug specificity. This goal may be achieved by combining the use of therapeutic molecules with tumor specific effects and delivery carriers with tumor targeting ability. In this regard, nucleic acid-based drug (NABD) and particularly small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), are attractive molecules due to the possibility to be engineered to target specific tumor genes. On the other hand, polymeric-based delivery systems are emerging as versatile carriers to generate tumor-targeted delivery systems. Here we will focus on the most recent findings in the selection of siRNA/polymeric targeted delivery systems for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a human tumor for which currently available therapeutic approaches are poorly effective. In addition, we will discuss the most attracting and, in our opinion, promising siRNA-polymer combinations for HCC in relation to the biological features of HCC tissue. Attention will be also put on the mathematical description of the mechanisms ruling siRNA-carrier delivery, this being an important aspect to improve effectiveness reducing the experimental work.