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Special Issue "Nano-Strategies: The Future Medicine for Fighting Cancer Progression and Drug Resistance"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Pharmacology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 29 February 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Giovanni L. Beretta
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Applied Research and Technological Development, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, 20133, Milan, Italy
Interests: cancer; antitumor drugs; pharmacology; drug resistance; nanomedicine; drug delivery
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The administration of conventional antitumor therapy is the first choice in clinical practice for patients suffering from disseminated tumors. Unfortunately, the development of drug resistance and systemic toxicity often require the suspension of treatment and lead to tumor progression and patients’ deaths. Among the several strategies considered to counteract drug resistance, the encapsulation of the drugs into nanovectors appears very promising. Importantly, their capability demonstrated in protecting cargo makes nanodevices useful for the delivery of therapeutic nucleic acids, a field of research that has increased significantly in recent years. Despite numerous studies that have proved the efficacy of nanosystems in (i) carrying a large therapeutics “payload”; (ii) accommodating multiple drug molecules that simultaneously enable combinatorial cancer therapy and bypass well-known drug resistance mechanisms; and (iii) targeting specific cells/tissues through the multivalent targeting ligands, which yield high affinity and specificity, only a limited number of nanodevices have attained clinical success (e.g., Doxil and Abraxane). These features imply that additional efforts are required before nanomedicine supplants conventional drug delivery administration. In this Special Issue, we welcome contributions, reviews, and original articles focused on all the aspects embraced by nanostrategies and adopted for combating cancer progression and drug resistance.

Dr. Giovanni L. Beretta
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Antitumor drugs
  • Nanomedicine
  • Tumor progression
  • Metastasis
  • Drug resistance
  • Biomarkers
  • Drug delivery
  • Pharmacology

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Encapsulation of Lovastatin in Zein Nanoparticles Exhibits Enhanced Apoptotic Activity in HepG2 Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(22), 5788; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20225788 - 18 Nov 2019
Abstract
Research on statins highlights their potent cytotoxicity against cancer cells and their potential for cancer prevention. The aim of the current study was to examine whether loading lovastatin (LVS) in zein (ZN) nanoparticles (NPs) would potentiate the anti-proliferative effects of LVS and enhance [...] Read more.
Research on statins highlights their potent cytotoxicity against cancer cells and their potential for cancer prevention. The aim of the current study was to examine whether loading lovastatin (LVS) in zein (ZN) nanoparticles (NPs) would potentiate the anti-proliferative effects of LVS and enhance its proliferation-inhibiting activity in HepG2 cells. LVS-ZN NPs were prepared and showed excellent characteristics, with respect to their particle size, zeta potential, diffusion, and entrapment efficiency. In addition, they showed the most potent anti-proliferative activity against HepG2 cells. ZN alone showed an observable anti-proliferative that was significantly higher than that of raw LVS. Furthermore, LVS uptake by HepG2 cells was greatly enhanced by the formulation in ZN. A cell cycle analysis indicated that LVS induced a significant cell accumulation in the G2/M and pre-G phases. In this regard, the LVS–ZN NPs exhibited the highest potency. The accumulation in the pre-G phase indicated an enhanced pro-apoptotic activity of the prepared formula. The cells incubated with the LVS-ZN NPs showed the highest percentage of cells with annexin-V positive staining. In addition, the same incubations showed the highest content of caspase-3 enzyme in comparison to raw LVS or ZN. Thus, the loading of LVS in ZN nanoparticles enhances its anti-proliferative activity against HepG2 cells, which is attributed, at least partly, to the enhanced cellular uptake and the induction of apoptosis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Targeting Pancreatic Cancer Cells with Peptide-Functionalized Polymeric Magnetic Nanoparticles
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(12), 2988; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20122988 - 19 Jun 2019
Abstract
Pancreatic cancer is a concealed and highly malignant tumor, and its early diagnosis plays an increasingly weighty role during the course of cancer treatment. In this study, we developed a polymeric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) nanoplatform for MRI contrast agents. To improve tumor-targeting [...] Read more.
Pancreatic cancer is a concealed and highly malignant tumor, and its early diagnosis plays an increasingly weighty role during the course of cancer treatment. In this study, we developed a polymeric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) nanoplatform for MRI contrast agents. To improve tumor-targeting delivery of MRI contrast agents, we employed a pancreatic cancer targeting CKAAKN peptide to prepare a peptide-functionalized amphiphilic hyaluronic acid–vitamin E succinate polymer (CKAAKN–HA–VES) for delivering ultra-small superparamagnetic iron oxide (USPIO), namely, CKAAKN–HA–[email protected] With the modification of the CKAAKN peptide, CKAAKN–HA–[email protected] could specifically internalize into CKAAKN-positive BxPC-3 cells. The CKAAKN–HA–[email protected] nanoparticles presented a more specific accumulation into pancreatic cancer cells than normal pancreatic cells, and an obvious decrease in signal intensity was observed in CKAAKN-positive BxPC-3 cells, compared with CKAAKN-negative HPDE6-C7 cells and non-targeting HA–[email protected] nanoparticles. The results demonstrated that our polymeric MRI nanoplatform could selectively internalize into CKAAKN-positive pancreatic cancer cells by the specific binding of CKAAKN peptide with pancreatic cancer cell membrane receptors, which provided a novel polymeric MRI contrast agent with high specificity for pancreatic cancer diagnosis, and makes it a very promising candidate for magnetic resonance imaging contrast enhancement. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
siRNA Conjugated Nanoparticles—A Next Generation Strategy to Treat Lung Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(23), 6088; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20236088 - 03 Dec 2019
Abstract
Despite major progress in both therapeutic and diagnostic techniques, lung cancer is still considered the leading cause of cancer mortality in the world due to the ineffectiveness of the classical treatments used nowadays. Luckily, the discovery of small interfering RNA (siRNA) planted hope [...] Read more.
Despite major progress in both therapeutic and diagnostic techniques, lung cancer is still considered the leading cause of cancer mortality in the world due to the ineffectiveness of the classical treatments used nowadays. Luckily, the discovery of small interfering RNA (siRNA) planted hope in the hearts of scientists and patients worldwide as a new breakthrough in the world of oncology and a robust tool for finally curing cancer. However, the valuable siRNA must be protected and preserved to ensure the effectiveness of this gene therapy, thus nanoparticles are gaining more attention than previous years as the optimal carriers for this fragile molecule. siRNA-loaded nanoparticles are being extensively investigated to find the appropriate formulation, combination, and delivery route with one objective in mind—successfully overcoming all possible limitations shown in clinical studies and making full use of this novel technique to become the next generation treatment to wipe out many chronic diseases, including cancer. In this review, the benefits of using siRNA and nanoparticles in lung cancer treatment will be globally reviewed before discussing why and how nanoparticles and siRNA can be combined to achieve an efficient treatment of lung cancer for prospective clinical applications. Full article
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