Abstract

Solid tumors are known to recruit new blood vessels to support their growth. Therefore, unique molecules expressed on tumor endothelial cells can function as targets for the antiangiogenic therapy of cancer. Current efforts are focusing on developing therapeutic agents capable of specifically targeting cancer cells and tumor-associated microenvironments including tumor blood vessels. These therapies hold the promise of high efficacy and low toxicity. One recognized strategy for improving the therapeutic effectiveness of conventional chemotherapeutics is to encapsulate anticancer drugs into targeting liposomes that bind to the cell surface receptors expressed on tumor-associated endothelial cells. These anti-angiogenic drug delivery systems could be used to target both tumor blood vessels as well as the tumor cells, themselves. This article reviews the mechanisms and advantages of various present and potential methods using peptide-conjugated liposomes to specifically destroy tumor blood vessels in anticancer therapy.