Sequential Drug Delivery in Targeted Cancer Therapy

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Cancer is a major public health problem and one of the leading causes of death. However, traditional cancer therapy may damage normal cells and cause side effects. Many targeted drug delivery platforms have been developed to overcome the limitations of the free form of therapeutics and biological barriers. The commonly used cancer cell surface targets are CD44, matrix metalloproteinase-2, folate receptors, etc. Once the drug enters the cell, active delivery of the drug molecule to its final destination is still preferred. The subcellular targeting strategies include using glucocorticoid receptors for nuclear targeting, negative mitochondrial membrane potential and N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase for Golgi apparatus targeting, etc. Therefore, the most effective way to deliver therapeutic agents is through a sequential drug delivery system that simultaneously achieves cellular-and subcellular-level targeting. The dual-targeting delivery holds great promise for improving therapeutic effects and overcoming drug resistance. This review classifies sequential drug delivery systems based on final targeted organelles. We summarize different targeting strategies and mechanisms and gave examples of each case.

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