Biodegradable polymers for targeted delivery of anti-cancer drugs

Sindhu Doppalapudi, Anjali Jain, Abraham J. Domb, Wahid Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


ABSTRACT: Introduction: Biodegradable polymers have been used for more than three decades in cancer treatment and have received increased interest in recent years. A range of biodegradable polymeric drug delivery systems designed for localized and systemic administration of therapeutic agents as well as tumor-targeting macromolecules has entered into the clinical phase of development, indicating the significance of biodegradable polymers in cancer therapy. Areas covered: This review elaborates upon applications of biodegradable polymers in the delivery and targeting of anti-cancer agents. Design of various drug delivery systems based on biodegradable polymers has been described. Moreover, the indication of polymers in the targeted delivery of chemotherapeutic drugs via passive, active targeting, and localized drug delivery are also covered. Expert opinion: Biodegradable polymer-based drug delivery systems have the potential to deliver the payload to the target and can enhance drug availability at desired sites. Systemic toxicity and serious side effects observed with conventional cancer therapeutics can be significantly reduced with targeted polymeric systems. Still, there are many challenges that need to be met with respect to the degradation kinetics of the system, diffusion of drug payload within solid tumors, targeting tumoral tissue and tumor heterogeneity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)891-909
Number of pages19
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Delivery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Biodegradable polymers
  • chemotherapeutics
  • controlled release
  • intratumoral delivery
  • polymeric carriers
  • targeting


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