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Anti-Cancer Drug Delivery Using Carbohydrate-Based Polymers

[ Vol. 23 , Issue. 39 ]


Javad Ranjbari, Ahad Mokhtarzadeh, Abbas Alibakhshi, Maryam Tabarzad*, Maryam Hejazi and Mohammad Ramezani*   Pages 6019 - 6032 ( 14 )


Polymeric drug delivery systems in the form of nanocarriers are the most interesting vehicles in anticancer therapy. Among different types of biocompatible polymers, carbohydrate-based polymers or polysaccharides are the most common natural polymers with complex structures consisting of long chains of monosaccharide or disaccharide units bound by glycosidic linkages. Their appealing properties such as availability, biocompatibility, biodegradability, low toxicity, high chemical reactivity, facile chemical modification and low cost led to their extensive applications in biomedical and pharmaceutical fields including development of nano-vehicles for delivery of anti-cancer therapeutic agents. Generally, reducing systemic toxicity, increasing short half-lives and tumor localization of agents are the top priorities for a successful cancer therapy. Polysaccharide-based or - coated nanosystems with respect to their advantageous features as well as accumulation in tumor tissue due to enhanced permeation and retention (EPR) effect can provide promising carrier systems for the delivery of noblest impressive agents. Most challenging factor in cancer therapy was the toxicity of anti-cancer therapeutic agents for normal cells and therefore, targeted delivery of these drugs to the site of action can be considered as an interesting therapeutic strategy. In this regard, several polysaccharides exhibited selective affinity for specific cell types, and so they can act as a targeting agent in drug delivery systems. Accordingly, different aspects of polysaccharide applications in cancer treatment or diagnosis were reviewed in this paper. In this regard, after a brief introduction of polysaccharide structure and its importance, the pharmaceutical usage of carbohydrate-based polymers was considered according to the identity of accompanying active pharmaceutical agents. It was also presented that the carbohydrate based polymers have been extensively considered as promising materials in the design of efficient nanocarriers for anti-cancer biopharmaceuticals including peptide and proteins or nucleic acid-based therapeutics. Then, the importance of various polysaccharide co-polymers in the drug delivery approaches was illustrated.


Biopharmaceutical, cancer, controlled delivery, drug delivery, polysaccharide, targeted delivery.


Department of Biotechnology, School of Advanced Technologies in Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Immunology Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Department of Biotechnology, School of Advanced Technologies in Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Protein Technology Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Zabol University of Medical Sciences, Zabol, Pharmaceutical Research Center, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad

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