The potential for clinical translation of antibody-targeted nanoparticles in the treatment of acute myeloid leukaemia

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Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is a heterogeneous haematopoietic malignancy. Currently, treatment options offer a 5 year survival of <60%. In elderly patients, where the incidence is highest, the survival is much lower. Current standard treatments have significant toxicity and are least well tolerated in older adults, where the need is greatest. Therefore, alternatives are required. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), due to the specific targeting to cell surface proteins (i.e. antigens), represent a promising strategy for drug delivery to malignant cells. This concept favours the therapeutic ratio simultaneously by reducing toxicity and increasing efficacy. Although delivery of chemotherapeutics, genes and imaging agents using multifunctional nanoparticles has been substantially explored in treating solid cancers, less information on this approach is available in the case of AML. This review describes the development of antibody-targeted nanoparticulate drug delivery systems, and discusses the barriers to clinical translation in the treatment of AML.Graphical abstractHighlightsReliable approaches for detection of AML-specific antigens are urgently required.Delivery barriers in the systemic circulation and bone marrow need to be resolved.Novel antibody-targeted drug nanoformulations promise potential for AML therapy.

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