Anna Ulldemolins, Joaquin Seras-Franzoso, Fernanda Andrade, Diana Rafael, Ibane Abasolo, Petra Gener, Simo Schwartz Jr
Cancer Drug Resist 2020;3:[Online First] Review
Advanced cancer is still considered an incurable disease because of its metastatic spread to distal organs and progressive gain of chemoresistance. Even though considerable treatment progress and more effective therapies have been achieved over the past years, recurrence in the long-term and undesired side effects are still the main drawbacks of current clinical protocols. Moreover, a majority of chemotherapeutic drugs are highly hydrophobic and need to be diluted in organic solvents, which cause high toxicity, in order to reach effective therapeutic dose. These limitations of conventional cancer therapies prompted the use of nanomedicine, the medical application of nanotechnology, to provide more effective and safer cancer treatment. Potential of nanomedicines to overcome resistance, ameliorate solubility, improve pharmacological profile, and reduce adverse effects of chemotherapeutical drugs is thus highly regarded. Their use in the clinical setting has increased over the last decade. Among the various existing nanosystems, nanoparticles have the ability to transform conventional medicine by reducing the adverse effects and providing a controlled release of therapeutic agents. Also, their small size facilitates the intracellular uptake. Here, we provide a closer review of clinical prospects and mechanisms of action of nanomedicines to overcome drug resistance. The significance of specific targeting towards cancer cells is debated as well.