Nanotechnological strategies for therapeutic targeting of tumor vasculature

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Neovascularization plays fundamental roles in tumor growth and metastasis. Tumor blood vessels are highly accessible and express various angiogenic markers that are either not present or are expressed at low levels in normal vessels, thereby serving as favorable targets for cancer therapy. Cancer nanotechnology, as an integrated platform, offers great opportunities for optimizing drug efficacy and pharmacokinetics while reducing side effects. Nanoparticles with tunable size, shape and surface modification have been exploited to achieve effective tumor vascular targeting. Here, we briefly introduce the signatures of tumor neovascularization and the review investigations on vascular-targeted anti-tumor nanomedicines. We also provide our perspectives on the promising fields of combination therapy and theranostic nanomedicines, as well as the challenges of nanotechnology-based cancer therapy. Furthermore, introducing new functionality would significantly consolidate the current development of nanomaterials based on tumor vasculature targeting.

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