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WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol
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Polymer nanoparticles for drug and small silencing RNA delivery to treat cancers of different phenotypes

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Advances in nanotechnology have provided powerful and efficient tools in the development of cancer diagnosis and therapy. There are numerous nanocarriers that are currently approved for clinical use in cancer therapy. In recent years, biodegradable polymer nanoparticles have attracted a considerable attention for their ability to function as a possible carrier for target‐specific delivery of various drugs, genes, proteins, peptides, vaccines, and other biomolecules in humans without much toxicity. This review will specifically focus on the recent advances in polymer‐based nanocarriers for various drugs and small silencing RNA's loading and delivery to treat different types of cancer. WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol 2014, 6:40–60. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1242 This article is categorized under: Therapeutic Approaches and Drug Discovery > Nanomedicine for Oncologic Disease

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Poly(lactide‐co‐glycolide) (PLGA) hydrolysis in the body into biodegradable lactic and glycolic acid.
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Histological observation of murine lymphocytic tumors isolated from mice treated with free and nanoparticle‐encapsulated gemcitabine by hematoxylin–eosin–saffron (HES) staining. (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2011 American Chemical Society)
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Structure and chemistry of the hydrophobic prodrug platinum(IV) compound and active drug, hydrophilic cisplatin, which is released after reduction in the cell. (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2008 National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A.)
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Tumor cell apoptosis measured by TUNEL staining. (a) Microscopic evaluation of tumor apoptosis by TUNEL staining. (b) Average apoptotic cell counts. Source: Cheng et al.
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Docetaxel encapsulated within poly(lactide‐co‐glycolide)‐block‐polyethylene glycol‐COOH (PLGAbPEG‐COOH) polymer nanoparticles (NPs) using the nanoprecipitation method, and conjugated to aptamer for selective delivery to treat prostate cancer. (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2007 Elsevier Ltd)
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Schematic illustration of polymer nanoparticles (NPs) formulation for efficient drug delivery for cancer therapy in mouse tumor model.
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Polymer nanoparticles can deliver drugs to tumors through passive tissue targeting [enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect], which is achieved by extravasation of nanoparticles via enhanced penetrability of the tumor vasculature and ineffective lymphatic drainage. (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2007 Nature Publishing Group and from Ref . Copyright 2011 Elsevier Ltd)
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