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WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol
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Recent progress in the development of polysaccharide conjugates of docetaxel and paclitaxel

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Taxanes are one of the most potent and broadest spectrum chemotherapeutics used clinically, but also induce significant side effects. Different strategies have been developed to produce a safer taxane formulation. Development of polysaccharide drug conjugates has increased in the recent years because of the demonstrated biocompatibility, biodegradability, safety, and low cost of the biopolymers. This review focuses on polysaccharide–taxane conjugates and provides an overview on various conjugation strategies and their effect on the efficacy. Detailed analyses on the designing factors of an effective polysaccharide–drug conjugate are provided with a discussion on the future direction of this field. This article is categorized under: Therapeutic Approaches and Drug Discovery > Nanomedicine for Oncologic Disease

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Chemical structures of DTX (a) and PTX (b). Both drugs have been evaluated for polysaccharide‐conjugated delivery. Conjugation of the drug to polymers principally occurs at the reactive 2′‐OH group, which is labeled in blue. (c) Chemical structure of a monosaccharide unit which is the building block of polysaccharides. Monosaccharides linked together covalently by glycosidic linkage to form a polysaccharide. When a single monosaccharide unit is repeated, the resultant polysaccharide is called the homopolysaccharide, whereas, a heteropolysaccharide is composed of two or more types of monosaccharides. There are two anomeric form of monosaccharide: α and β. They are defined by the position of the –OH group at the C‐1 position: in α anomer the –OH group point downward axially and in β anomer the –OH group would point upward equatorially. The numbering system in the monosaccharide is depicted in blue in the figure.
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Schematic representation of low MW polymer with low drug loading (1), high MW polymer with low drug loading (2) and high MW polymer with high drug loading (3). With higher drug loading, high MW polymers tend to form complex secondary and tertiary structures in an aqueous medium and can self assemble into core‐shell nanostructures with a hydrophobic drug core which can reduce the hydrolytic release of the drug.
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Chemical structures of heparin (a) and heparin–taxane conjugates (b–f).
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Chemical structures of chitosan (a) and chitosan–taxane conjugate (b).
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Chemical structures of dextran (a), CM–dextran (b), and different dextran–PTX conjugates (c, d).
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Chemical structures of carboxymethyl cellulose (a) and CMC–DTX conjugate (b).
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Chemical structures of HA (a) and different HA‐taxane conjugates (b–f). HA is composed of glucuronic acid and N‐acetyl glucosamine (a). Mainly carboxylate groups of the glucuronic acid component is used for drug conjugation. In the conjugates, chemical structure of PTX is depicted as PTX for simplification. Linkers are shown in blue colour and PTX is conjugated via the 2′‐OH group. Structures of different conjugates prepared by different groups are shown (b–f).
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Therapeutic Approaches and Drug Discovery > Nanomedicine for Oncologic Disease

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