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Journal of Drug Delivery
Volume 2013, Article ID 705265, 32 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/705265
Review Article

Recent Trends in Multifunctional Liposomal Nanocarriers for Enhanced Tumor Targeting

1Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and Nanomedicine, Northeastern University, 140 the Fenway, Room 236, 360 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA
2Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and Nanomedicine, Northeastern University, 140 the Fenway, Room 214, 360 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA

Received 25 December 2012; Accepted 6 February 2013

Academic Editor: Tamer Elbayoumi

Copyright © 2013 Federico Perche and Vladimir P. Torchilin. 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.

Abstract

Liposomes are delivery systems that have been used to formulate a vast variety of therapeutic and imaging agents for the past several decades. They have significant advantages over their free forms in terms of pharmacokinetics, sensitivity for cancer diagnosis and therapeutic efficacy. The multifactorial nature of cancer and the complex physiology of the tumor microenvironment require the development of multifunctional nanocarriers. Multifunctional liposomal nanocarriers should combine long blood circulation to improve pharmacokinetics of the loaded agent and selective distribution to the tumor lesion relative to healthy tissues, remote-controlled or tumor stimuli-sensitive extravasation from blood at the tumor’s vicinity, internalization motifs to move from tumor bounds and/or tumor intercellular space to the cytoplasm of cancer cells for effective tumor cell killing. This review will focus on current strategies used for cancer detection and therapy using liposomes with special attention to combination therapies.