About this Research Topic
Monotherapy in the context of tumor treatment is often associated with limited therapeutic outcome and adverse effects, due to tumor heterogeneity and drug resistance. Combination therapy therefore represents one of the important treatment strategies for cancer at present.
However, the synergistic efficacy of current combination therapies is sub-optimal, because of the different half-lives and tissue distribution profiles of multiple chemo agents. Besides, there are several other problems that obstruct the success of current combination chemotherapy: (i) the poor water solubility and bioavailability of therapeutic agents lead to low drug concentration in the tumor tissue, (ii) the short elimination half-life of therapeutic agents compresses the duration of efficient treatments, (iii) the different pharmacokinetics and biodistribution of multiple anti-cancer agents makes it impossible to achieve an ideal combination ratio in targeted sites, in accord with the synergistic ratio in vitro screening, (iv) the low tumor tissue selectivity induces inefficient therapeutic efficacy and serious toxicity, and, (v) the inherent biological complexity and dynamic progress of tumors often compromise the anti-tumor outcome.
Some advanced or refractory carcinomas have been found not to respond to the current combinational treatments, due to the limited drug delivery efficiency. Therefore, a delivery carrier for co-loaded cargoes is required to normalize pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of different agents, prolong their circulation and tumor accumulation, ensure their specific binding to cancer cells, as well as a controlled release in the target site.
Furthermore, due to physiological differences between malignant and normal cells and their respective microenvironment, the tumor microenvironment usually exhibits special properties, such as low pH value, overexpression of enzymes, high reducibility, and thermo-sensitivity.
Currently, several types of nano-scaled drug delivery systems have been used for anti-cancer drug delivery, including organic, inorganic or hybrid nano-particles, polymeric micelles, polymer-drug conjugates, etc., exhibiting great potential in addressing drug delivery-associated problems and alleviate potential adverse effects.
This Research Topic aims to provide a platform for new studies or reviews of novel concepts, mechanisms and applications in the field of Nanopharmacology. Topics may include but are not limited to:
(1) The enhanced anti-cancer outcomes of multiple drugs combination in vitro/in vivo;
(2) Co-delivery nano-systems containing multiple agents, such as small molecular chemotherapeutic drugs, phytochemicals, nucleic acids, agents for photothermal therapy, etc.;
(3) Various types of nano-carriers such as liposomes, nano-micelles, nano-spheres, nano-capsules, polymer-drug conjugates for drugs co-loading;
(4) Functionalized co-delivery nano-systems mediated by external stimulation-guided tumor targeting or tumor microenvironmental response;
(5) Co-delivery strategies that can improve an efficient encapsulation and intracellular drug release;
(6) Co-delivery nano-systems for tumor treatment mediated by various aspects, such as cancer cell proliferation inhibition, multiple drug resistance reversal, cancer stem cells regulation, tumor microenvironment reprogramming, and tumor immunity regulation;
(7) Combination effects on the increased anti-cancer efficacy or reduced side-effects by co-delivery nano-systems.
Both original research and review articles are welcome.
Keywords: nano-particles, combination therapy, cancer treatment, co-delivery
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