[en] This paper aims at reporting on the design of polymeric drug nanocarriers used in cancer therapy, with a special emphasis on the control of their biodistribution. First, the prominent role of poly(ethylene oxide) in the lifetime of nanocarriers circulating in the blood stream is highlighted, and the origin of a passive targeting based on a difference in the anatomy of tumors and normal tissues is discussed. The main body of the review is devoted to the targeting of nanocarriers towards tumors and the underlying concepts. As a rule, either the constitutive polymer is stimuli-responsive and the locus of drug release is where the stimulation occurs, or a ligand endowed with specific recognition is grafted onto the nanocarrier. Finally, the fate of the nanocarrier after drug delivery and the bioelimination of the polymer(s) involved are briefly considered.
Center for Education and Research on Macromolecules (CERM)
Politique Scientifique Fédérale (Belgique) = Belgian Federal Science Policy ; Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS