Recent advances in biocompatible nanocarriers for delivery of chemotherapeutic cargoes towards cancer therapy
Cancer is currently one of the major diseases that has gained a lot of scientific attention. Conventional cancer therapeutics involve surgical removal of tumors from patients followed by chemotherapeutic treatment. In the use of anticancer drugs during the chemotherapy process, patients often suffer from a variety of undesirable side effects including damage to normal organs. Thus, there is an urgent need for the development of novel strategies to overcome these side effect issues. Among several strategies, the utilization of nanocarriers for anticancer drug delivery has shown improved therapeutic efficiency of the drugs with minimization of the undesirable side effects. In this review, we discuss various types of nanocarriers recently reported in the literature for application in cancer therapy. We introduce some targeting ligands that have been functionalized on nanocarriers in order to impart specificity to the nanocarriers for targeted drug delivery. We also highlight some therapeutic cargoes that are commonly used and their therapeutic mechanisms in cancer treatment. Finally, we summarize some interesting stimulus strategies for controlled release of therapeutic cargoes at tumor sites. This review is expected to inspire new ideas and create novel strategies in advancing efficient cancer therapy using nanomedicine approaches.