Drug delivery to tumors depends heavily upon the state of tumor vasculature; in general, angiogenic tumors are characterized by poor perfusion due to the abnormal vessel anatomy and tortuosity. The emergence of nanomedicine offers new strategies for taking advantage of these vascular "defects". It has been shown that nanotherapeutics can improve drug selectivity by para-cellular extravagation from leaky blood capillaries to the tumor tissue, a phenomenon known as the "Enhanced Permeability and Retention” (EPR) effect. Substantial pre-clinical efforts are being invested in understanding the EPR effect and its clinical relevance.
Scheme of Solidified Polymer micelles drug delivery system.
Our recent findings demonstrate that a stabilized form of polymer micelle drug carrier, referred to as “Solidified Polymer Micelles” (SPM) can internalize into endothelial and epithelial cells by clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Our data suggest that the particles can exit cells in their intact particle form and efficiently diffuse the tumor tissue. We plan to use this drug delivery system to deliver water insoluble cannabinoid products for cancer therapy while enhancing stability. In addition we will study the oral availability of the drugs in their particle shape, as previously demonstrated.
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- Nat Biotechnol. 2008 Jul;26(7):799-807
Key words: cancer, drug delivery, nanoparticles