Therapeutic agents that inhibit a single target often cannot combat a multifactorial disease such as cancer. Thus, multi-target inhibitors (MTIs) are needed to circumvent complications such as the development of resistance. There are two predominant types of MTIs, (a) single drug inhibitor (SDIs) that affect multiple pathways simultaneously, and (b) combinatorial agents or multi-drug inhibitors (MDIs) that inhibit multiple pathways. Single agent multi-target kinase inhibitors are amongst the most prominent class of compounds belonging to the former, whereas the latter includes many different classes of combinatorial agents that have been used to achieve synergistic efficacy against cancer. Safe delivery and accumulation at the tumor site is of paramount importance for MTIs because inhibition of multiple key signaling pathways has the potential to lead to systemic toxicity. For this reason, the development of drug delivery mechanisms using nanotechnology is preferable in order to ensure that the MDIs accumulate in the tumor vasculature, thereby increasing efficacy and minimizing off-target and systemic side effects. This review will discuss how nanotechnology can be used for the development of MTIs for cancer therapy with a focus on various nanoparticle formulations. It concludes with a discussion of the future of nanoparticle-based MTIs as well as the continuing obstacles being faced during the development of these unique agents.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Biomedical Engineering
- Pharmaceutical Science