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"Combo" nanomedicine: Co-delivery of multi-modal therapeutics for efficient, targeted, and safe cancer therapy.

  • Author(s): Kemp, Jessica A;
  • Shim, Min Suk;
  • Heo, Chan Yeong;
  • Kwon, Young Jik
  • et al.

The dynamic and versatile nature of diseases such as cancer has been a pivotal challenge for developing efficient and safe therapies. Cancer treatments using a single therapeutic agent often result in limited clinical outcomes due to tumor heterogeneity and drug resistance. Combination therapies using multiple therapeutic modalities can synergistically elevate anti-cancer activity while lowering doses of each agent, hence, reducing side effects. Co-administration of multiple therapeutic agents requires a delivery platform that can normalize pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of the agents, prolong circulation, selectively accumulate, specifically bind to the target, and enable controlled release in target site. Nanomaterials, such as polymeric nanoparticles, gold nanoparticles/cages/shells, and carbon nanomaterials, have the desired properties, and they can mediate therapeutic effects different from those generated by small molecule drugs (e.g., gene therapy, photothermal therapy, photodynamic therapy, and radiotherapy). This review aims to provide an overview of developing multi-modal therapies using nanomaterials ("combo" nanomedicine) along with the rationale, up-to-date progress, further considerations, and the crucial roles of interdisciplinary approaches.

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