Recent advances of cocktail chemotherapy by combination drug delivery systems

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Abstract

Combination chemotherapy is widely exploited for enhanced cancer treatment in the clinic. However, the traditional cocktail administration of combination regimens often suffers from varying pharmacokinetics among different drugs. The emergence of nanotechnology offers an unparalleled opportunity for developing advanced combination drug delivery strategies with the ability to encapsulate various drugs simultaneously and unify the pharmacokinetics of each drug. This review surveys the most recent advances in combination delivery of multiple small molecule chemotherapeutics using nanocarriers. The mechanisms underlying combination chemotherapy, including the synergistic, additive and potentiation effects, are also discussed with typical examples. We further highlight the sequential and site-specific co-delivery strategies, which provide new guidelines for development of programmable combination drug delivery systems. Clinical outlook and challenges are also discussed in the end.

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