Polymer-drug conjugates for novel molecular targets

Joaquin Sanchis, Fabiana Canal, Rut Lucas, Mara J. Vicent

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


Polymer therapeutics can be already considered as a promising field in the human healthcare context. The discovery of the enhanced permeability and retention effect by Maeda, together with the modular model for the polymer-drug conjugate proposed by Ringsdorf, directed the early steps of polymer therapeutics towards cancer therapy. Orthodox anticancer drugs were preferentially chosen in the development of the first conjugates. The fast evolution of polymer chemistry and bioconjugation techniques, and a deeper understanding of cell biology has opened up exciting new challenges and opportunities. Four main directions have to be considered to develop this 'platform technology further: the control of the synthetic process, the exhaustive characterization of the conjugate architectures, the conquest of combination therapy and the disclosure of new therapeutic targets. We illustrate in this article the exciting approaches offered by polymer-drug conjugates beyond classical cancer therapy, focusing on new, more effective and selective targets in cancer and in their use as treatments for other major human diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)915-935
Number of pages21
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • cancer
  • nanomedicine
  • novel molecular targets
  • polymer therapeutics
  • polymerdrug conjugate
  • targeted drug delivery
  • tissue repair

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