Targeting peptides, a Swiss-Army Knife against cancer
Characterised by both great selectivity and flexibility, peptides are also considered safe and usually quite well tolerated by patients. During the past two decades, development of anti-cancer peptide therapeutics has formed sustained activity in the research and development (R&D) departments of pharmaceutical industry. Cancer is the emerging leading cause of death worldwide often without a satisfactory therapeutic option available. To overcome the often-acquired chemotherapeutic resistance and side effects, novel drugs that are specifically attacking cancer cells and less toxic to normal cells are required. Thus, tumour targeting peptides constitute an appealing tool for cancer detection and treatment. In this chapter, we will summarise the identification of novel cancer targeting peptides and also address some of the most promising candidates currently under preclinical investigation.