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Journal of Drug Delivery
Volume 2012, Article ID 915375, 17 pages
Review Article

Combination Drug Delivery Approaches in Metastatic Breast Cancer

1Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Maryland at Baltimore, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA
2University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA

Received 22 November 2011; Revised 2 February 2012; Accepted 7 February 2012

Academic Editor: Nevio Picci

Copyright © 2012 Jun H. Lee and Anjan Nan. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Disseminated metastatic breast cancer needs aggressive treatment due to its reduced response to anticancer treatment and hence low survival and quality of life. Although in theory a combination drug therapy has advantages over single-agent therapy, no appreciable survival enhancement is generally reported whereas increased toxicity is frequently seen in combination treatment especially in chemotherapy. Currently used combination treatments in metastatic breast cancer will be discussed with their challenges leading to the introduction of novel combination anticancer drug delivery systems that aim to overcome these challenges. Widely studied drug delivery systems such as liposomes, dendrimers, polymeric nanoparticles, and water-soluble polymers can concurrently carry multiple anticancer drugs in one platform. These carriers can provide improved target specificity achieved by passive and/or active targeting mechanisms.