Special Issue "Novel Anticancer Strategies (Volume II)"

A special issue of Pharmaceutics (ISSN 1999-4923). This special issue belongs to the section "Clinical Pharmaceutics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Hassan Bousbaa
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Instituto de Investigação e Formação Avançada em Ciências e Tecnologias da Saúde, IUCS, CESPU, Rua Central de Gandra, 1317, 4585-116 Gandra PRD, Portugal
Interests: targeted anticancer therapy; targeting mitosis for cancer therapy; antimitotic agents; biological evaluation of natural and synthetic compounds; cancer biomarkers
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The clinical efficacy of the available cancer therapies has been impaired by serious side effects and drug resistance. Cancer incidence and mortality continue to increase rapidly worldwide. Therefore, the development and discovery of novel therapeutic strategies are urgently needed to overcome the drawbacks associated with the strategies in use in the clinic and to offer more effective therapeutic options. Novel cancer treatment strategies are being developed to selectively detect and eradicate malignant cells, with minimal damage to the healthy tissue, contrasted with conventional strategies.

In this Special Issue of Pharmaceutics, novel anticancer strategies with reduced toxicity and improved therapeutic indices, presented in original articles and comprehensive reviews highlighting the latest advances, are welcome. These strategies would suggest prospects for optimizing cancer therapies, hopefully with tremendous clinical value in the near future. Toward these aims, we encourage submissions that focus on the development and validation of novel anticancer approaches, which include, but are not limited to, ligand-/receptor-based targeting, controlled drug delivery, gene delivery, targeted anticancer prodrug and conjugate (photoactivatable caged prodrugs, ADEPT, ADAPT, ADCs), magnetic and ultrasound-mediated drug targeting, and cancer stem cell therapy that explores the targeting of signaling cascades and the tumor microenvironment.

Prof. Dr. Hassan Bousbaa
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • cancer therapy
  • drug delivery
  • drug carriers
  • targeted therapy
  • prodrugs (photoactivatable caged prodrugs, ADEPT, and ADAPT)
  • antibody drug conjugates (ADCs)
  • controlled drug release
  • immunotherapy
  • gene therapy (GDEPT)
  • stem cell therapy

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Published Papers (18 papers)

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Research

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Article
Tuning the Cytotoxicity of Bis-Phosphino-Amines Ruthenium(II) Para-Cymene Complexes for Clinical Development in Breast Cancer
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(10), 1559; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13101559 - 26 Sep 2021
Viewed by 565
Abstract
Despite some limitations such as long-term side effects or the potential presence of intrinsic or acquired resistance, platinum compounds are key therapeutic components for the treatment of several solid tumors. To overcome these limitations, maintaining the same efficacy, organometallic ruthenium(II) compounds have been [...] Read more.
Despite some limitations such as long-term side effects or the potential presence of intrinsic or acquired resistance, platinum compounds are key therapeutic components for the treatment of several solid tumors. To overcome these limitations, maintaining the same efficacy, organometallic ruthenium(II) compounds have been proposed as a viable alternative to platinum agents as they have a more favorable toxicity profile and represent an ideal template for both, high-throughput and rational drug design. To support the preclinical development of bis-phoshino-amine ruthenium compounds in the treatment of breast cancer, we carried out chemical modifications in the structure of these derivatives with the aim of designing less toxic and more efficient therapeutic agents. We report new bis-phoshino-amine ligands and the synthesis of their ruthenium counterparts. The novel ligands and compounds were fully characterized, water stability analyzed, and their in vitro cytotoxicity against a panel of tumor cell lines representative of different breast cancer subtypes was evaluated. The mechanism of action of the lead compound of the series was explored. In vivo toxicity was also assessed. The results obtained in this article might pave the way for the clinical development of these compounds in breast cancer therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Anticancer Strategies (Volume II))
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Article
Anti-Cancer Nanopowders and MAPLE-Fabricated Thin Films Based on SPIONs Surface Modified with Paclitaxel Loaded β-Cyclodextrin
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(9), 1356; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13091356 - 28 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 649
Abstract
Globally, cancer is the second most common cause of death, and Europe accounts for almost 25% of the global cancer burden, although its people make up only 10% of the world’s population. Conventional systemically administered anti-cancer drugs come with important drawbacks such as [...] Read more.
Globally, cancer is the second most common cause of death, and Europe accounts for almost 25% of the global cancer burden, although its people make up only 10% of the world’s population. Conventional systemically administered anti-cancer drugs come with important drawbacks such as inefficiency due to poor bioavailability and improper biodistribution, severe side effects associated with low therapeutic indices, and the development of multidrug resistance. Therefore, smart nano-engineered targeted drug-delivery systems with tailored pharmacokinetics and biodistribution which can selectively deliver anti-cancer agents directly to the tumor site are the solution to most difficulties encountered with conventional therapeutic tools. Here, we report on the synthesis, physicochemical characterization, and in vitro evaluation of biocompatibility and anti-tumor activity of novel magnetically targetable SPIONs based on magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles’ surface modified with β-cyclodextrin (CD) and paclitaxel (PTX)–guest–host inclusion complexes (Fe3O4@β-CD/PTX). Both pristine Fe3O4@β-CD nanopowders and PTX-loaded thin films fabricated by MAPLE technique were investigated. Pristine Fe3O4@β-CD and Fe3O4@β-CD/PTX thin films were physicochemically characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), thermal analysis, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The biocompatibility of bare magnetic nanocomposite thin films was evaluated by MTT cell viability assay on a normal 3T3 osteoblast cell line culture and by measuring the level of NO in the culture medium. No significant modifications, neither in cell viability nor in NO level, could be observed, thereby demonstrating the excellent biocompatibility of the SPIONs thin films. Inverted phase-contrast microscopy showed no evident adverse effect on the morphology of normal osteoblasts. On the other hand, Fe3O4@β-CD/PTX films decreased the cell viability of the MG-63 osteosarcoma cell line by 85%, demonstrating excellent anti-tumor activity. The obtained results recommend these magnetic hybrid films as promising candidates for future delivery, and hyperthermia applications in cancer treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Anticancer Strategies (Volume II))
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Article
Stimuli-Responsive Nanofibers Containing Gold Nanorods for On-Demand Drug Delivery Platforms
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(8), 1319; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13081319 - 23 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 960
Abstract
On-demand drug delivery systems using nanofibers have attracted significant attention owing to their controllable properties for drug release through external stimuli. Near-infrared (NIR)-responsive nanofibers provide a platform where the drug release profile can be achieved by the on-demand supply of drugs at a [...] Read more.
On-demand drug delivery systems using nanofibers have attracted significant attention owing to their controllable properties for drug release through external stimuli. Near-infrared (NIR)-responsive nanofibers provide a platform where the drug release profile can be achieved by the on-demand supply of drugs at a desired dose for cancer therapy. Nanomaterials such as gold nanorods (GNRs) exhibit absorbance in the NIR range, and in response to NIR irradiation, they generate heat as a result of a plasmon resonance effect. In this study, we designed poly (N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) composite nanofibers containing GNRs. PNIPAM is a heat-reactive polymer that provides a swelling and deswelling property to the nanofibers. Electrospun nanofibers have a large surface-area-to-volume ratio, which is used to effectively deliver large quantities of drugs. In this platform, both hydrophilic and hydrophobic drugs can be introduced and manipulated. On-demand drug delivery systems were obtained through stimuli-responsive nanofibers containing GNRs and PNIPAM. Upon NIR irradiation, the heat generated by the GNRs ensures shrinking of the nanofibers owing to the thermal response of PNIPAM, thereby resulting in a controlled drug release. The versatility of the light-responsive nanofibers as a drug delivery platform was confirmed in cell studies, indicating the advantages of the swelling and deswelling property of the nanofibers and on–off drug release behavior with good biocompatibility. In addition, the system has potential for the combination of chemotherapy with multiple drugs to enhance the effectiveness of complex cancer treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Anticancer Strategies (Volume II))
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Article
Light- and Melanin Nanoparticle-Induced Cytotoxicity in Metastatic Cancer Cells
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 965; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13070965 - 26 Jun 2021
Viewed by 718
Abstract
Melanin nanoparticles are known to be biologically benign to human cells for a wide range of concentrations in a high glucose culture nutrition. Here, we show cytotoxic behavior at high nanoparticle and low glucose concentrations, as well as at low nanoparticle concentration under [...] Read more.
Melanin nanoparticles are known to be biologically benign to human cells for a wide range of concentrations in a high glucose culture nutrition. Here, we show cytotoxic behavior at high nanoparticle and low glucose concentrations, as well as at low nanoparticle concentration under exposure to (nonionizing) visible radiation. To study these effects in detail, we developed highly monodispersed melanin nanoparticles (both uncoated and glucose-coated). In order to study the effect of significant cellular uptake of these nanoparticles, we employed three cancer cell lines: VM-M3, A375 (derived from melanoma), and HeLa, all known to exhibit strong macrophagic character, i.e., strong nanoparticle uptake through phagocytic ingestion. Our main observations are: (i) metastatic VM-M3 cancer cells massively ingest melanin nanoparticles (mNPs); (ii) the observed ingestion is enhanced by coating mNPs with glucose; (iii) after a certain level of mNP ingestion, the metastatic cancer cells studied here are observed to die—glucose coating appears to slow that process; (iv) cells that accumulate mNPs are much more susceptible to killing by laser illumination than cells that do not accumulate mNPs; and (v) non-metastatic VM-NM1 cancer cells also studied in this work do not ingest the mNPs, and remain unaffected after receiving identical optical energy levels and doses. Results of this study could lead to the development of a therapy for control of metastatic stages of cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Anticancer Strategies (Volume II))
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Article
Investigation on the Composition of Agarose–Collagen I Blended Hydrogels as Matrices for the Growth of Spheroids from Breast Cancer Cell Lines
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 963; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13070963 - 26 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 744
Abstract
Three-dimensional (3D) cell culture systems mimic the structural complexity of the tissue microenvironment and are gaining increasing importance as they resemble the extracellular matrix (ECM)–cell and cell–cell physical interactions occurring in vivo. Several scaffold-based culture systems have been already proposed as valuable tools [...] Read more.
Three-dimensional (3D) cell culture systems mimic the structural complexity of the tissue microenvironment and are gaining increasing importance as they resemble the extracellular matrix (ECM)–cell and cell–cell physical interactions occurring in vivo. Several scaffold-based culture systems have been already proposed as valuable tools for large-scale production of spheroids, but they often suffer of poor reproducibility or high costs of production. In this work, we present a reliable 3D culture system based on collagen I-blended agarose hydrogels and show how the variation in the agarose percentage affects the physical and mechanical properties of the resulting hydrogel. The influence of the different physical and mechanical properties of the blended hydrogels on the growth, size, morphology, and cell motility of the spheroids obtained by culturing three different breast cancer cell lines (MCF-7, MDA-MB-361, and MDA-MB-231) was also evaluated. As proof of concept, the cisplatin penetration and its cytotoxic effect on the tumor spheroids as function of the hydrogel stiffness were also investigated. Noteworthily, the possibility to recover the spheroids from the hydrogels for further processing and other biological studies has been considered. This feature, in addition to the ease of preparation, the lack of cross-linking chemistry and the high reproducibility, makes this hydrogel a reliable biomimetic matrix for the growth of 3D cell structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Anticancer Strategies (Volume II))
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Article
Effects of Lapatinib on HER2-Positive and HER2-Negative Canine Mammary Carcinoma Cells Cultured In Vitro
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(6), 897; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13060897 - 17 Jun 2021
Viewed by 662
Abstract
HER2 is a prognostic and predictive marker widely used in breast cancer. Lapatinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that works by blocking the phosphorylation of the receptor HER2. Its use is related to relatively good results in the treatment of women with HER2+ [...] Read more.
HER2 is a prognostic and predictive marker widely used in breast cancer. Lapatinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that works by blocking the phosphorylation of the receptor HER2. Its use is related to relatively good results in the treatment of women with HER2+ breast cancer. Thus, this study aimed to verify the effects of lapatinib on four canine primary mammary gland carcinoma cell cultures and two paired metastatic cell cultures. Cultures were treated with lapatinib at concentrations of 100, 500, 1000 and 3000 nM for 24 h and the 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) for each cell culture was determined. In addition, a transwell assay was performed to assess the ability of lapatinib to inhibit cell migration. Furthermore, we verified HER2 expression by RT-qPCR analysis of cell cultures and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues from samples corresponding to those used in cell culture. Lapatinib was able to inhibit cell proliferation in all cell cultures, but it was not able to inhibit migration in all cell cultures. The higher the expression of HER2 in a culture, the more sensitive the culture was to treatment. This relationship may be an indication that the expression of HER2 may be a predictive factor and opens a new perspective for the treatment of primary and metastatic mammary gland cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Anticancer Strategies (Volume II))
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Article
Growth Inhibitory Effects of Ester Derivatives of Menahydroquinone-4, the Reduced Form of Vitamin K2(20), on All-Trans Retinoic Acid-Resistant HL60 Cell Line
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(5), 758; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13050758 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 852
Abstract
The first-choice drug for acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), frequently causes drug-resistance and some adverse effects. Thus, an effective and safe agent for ATRA-resistant APL is needed. Menaquinone-4 (MK-4, vitamin K2(20)), used for osteoporosis treatment, does not have [...] Read more.
The first-choice drug for acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), frequently causes drug-resistance and some adverse effects. Thus, an effective and safe agent for ATRA-resistant APL is needed. Menaquinone-4 (MK-4, vitamin K2(20)), used for osteoporosis treatment, does not have serious adverse effects. It has been reported that MK-4 has growth-inhibitory effects on HL60 cells by inducing apoptosis via the activation of Bcl-2 antagonist killer 1 (BAK). However, the effect of MK-4 on ATRA-resistant APL has not been reported. Here, we show that ester derivatives of menahydroquinone-4 (MKH; a reduced form of MK-4), MKH 1,4-bis-N,N-dimethylglycinate (MKH-DMG) and MKH 1,4-bis-hemi-succinate (MKH-SUC), exerted strong growth-inhibitory effects even on ATRA-resistant HL60 (HL-60R) cells compared with ATRA and MK-4. MKH delivery after MKH-SUC treatment was higher than that after MK-4 treatment, and the results indicated apoptosis induced by BAK activation. In contrast, for MKH-DMG, reconversion to MKH was slow and apoptosis was not observed. We suggest that the ester forms, including monoesters of MKH-DMG, exhibit another mechanism independent of apoptosis. In conclusion, the MKH derivatives (MKH-SUC and MKH-DMG) inhibited not only HL60 cells but also HL-60R cells, indicating a potential to overcome ATRA resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Anticancer Strategies (Volume II))
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Article
Cathepsin S Cleaves BAX as a Novel and Therapeutically Important Regulatory Mechanism for Apoptosis
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 339; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030339 - 05 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1176
Abstract
Certain lysosomal cathepsin proteins have come into focus as being good candidates for therapeutic targeting, based on them being over-expressed in a variety of cancers and based on their regulation of the apoptotic pathway. Here, we report novel findings that highlight the ability [...] Read more.
Certain lysosomal cathepsin proteins have come into focus as being good candidates for therapeutic targeting, based on them being over-expressed in a variety of cancers and based on their regulation of the apoptotic pathway. Here, we report novel findings that highlight the ability of cathepsin S expression to be up-regulated under Paclitaxel-stimulatory conditions in kidney cell lines and it being able to cleave the apoptotic p21 BAX protein in intact cells and in vitro. Consistent with this, we demonstrate that this effect can be abrogated in vitro and in mammalian cells under conditions that utilize dominant-inhibitory cathepsin S expression, cathepsin S expression-knockdown and through the activity of a novel peptide inhibitor, CS-PEP1. Moreover, we report a unique role for cathepsin S in that it can cleave a polyubiquitinated-BAX protein intermediate and is a step that may contribute to down-regulating post-translationally-modified levels of BAX protein. Finally, CS-PEP1 may possess promising activity as a potential anti-cancer therapeutic against chemotherapeutic-resistant Renal Clear Cell Carcinoma kidney cancer cells and for combined uses with therapeutics such as Paclitaxel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Anticancer Strategies (Volume II))
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Review

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Review
Immunotherapy for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(12), 2003; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13122003 (registering DOI) - 25 Nov 2021
Viewed by 121
Abstract
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is characterized by extensive tumor heterogeneity at both the pathologic and molecular levels, particularly accelerated aggressiveness, and terrible metastasis. It is responsible for the increased mortality of breast cancer patients. Due to the negative expression of estrogen receptors, progesterone [...] Read more.
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is characterized by extensive tumor heterogeneity at both the pathologic and molecular levels, particularly accelerated aggressiveness, and terrible metastasis. It is responsible for the increased mortality of breast cancer patients. Due to the negative expression of estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors, and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, the progress of targeted therapy has been hindered. Higher immune response in TNBCs than for other breast cancer types makes immunotherapy suitable for TNBC therapy. At present, promising treatments in immunotherapy of TNBC include immune checkpoints (ICs) blockade therapy, adoptive T-cell immunotherapy, and tumor vaccine immunotherapy. In addition, nanomedicines exhibit great potential in cancer therapy through the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect. Immunotherapy-involved combination therapy may exert synergistic effects by combining with other treatments, such as traditional chemotherapy and new treatments, including photodynamic therapy (PTT), photodynamic therapy (PDT), and sonodynamic therapy (SDT). This review focuses on introducing the principles and latest development as well as progress in using nanocarriers as drug-delivery systems for the immunotherapy of TNBC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Anticancer Strategies (Volume II))
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Review
Circulating Tumour Cells (CTCs) in NSCLC: From Prognosis to Therapy Design
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(11), 1879; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13111879 - 05 Nov 2021
Viewed by 426
Abstract
Designing optimal (neo)adjuvant therapy is a crucial aspect of the treatment of non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). Standard methods of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and immunotherapy represent effective strategies for treatment. However, in some cases with high metastatic activity and high levels of circulating tumour cells [...] Read more.
Designing optimal (neo)adjuvant therapy is a crucial aspect of the treatment of non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). Standard methods of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and immunotherapy represent effective strategies for treatment. However, in some cases with high metastatic activity and high levels of circulating tumour cells (CTCs), the efficacy of standard treatment methods is insufficient and results in treatment failure and reduced patient survival. CTCs are seen not only as an isolated phenomenon but also a key inherent part of the formation of metastasis and a key factor in cancer death. This review discusses the impact of NSCLC therapy strategies based on a meta-analysis of clinical studies. In addition, possible therapeutic strategies for repression when standard methods fail, such as the administration of low-toxicity natural anticancer agents targeting these phenomena (curcumin and flavonoids), are also discussed. These strategies are presented in the context of key mechanisms of tumour biology with a strong influence on CTC spread and metastasis (mechanisms related to tumour-associated and -infiltrating cells, epithelial–mesenchymal transition, and migration of cancer cells). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Anticancer Strategies (Volume II))
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Review
Behind the Adaptive and Resistance Mechanisms of Cancer Stem Cells to TRAIL
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1062; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071062 - 10 Jul 2021
Viewed by 842
Abstract
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), also known as Apo-2 ligand (Apo2L), is a member of the TNF cytokine superfamily. TRAIL has been widely studied as a novel strategy for tumor elimination, as cancer cells overexpress TRAIL death receptors, inducing apoptosis and [...] Read more.
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), also known as Apo-2 ligand (Apo2L), is a member of the TNF cytokine superfamily. TRAIL has been widely studied as a novel strategy for tumor elimination, as cancer cells overexpress TRAIL death receptors, inducing apoptosis and inhibiting blood vessel formation. However, cancer stem cells (CSCs), which are the main culprits responsible for therapy resistance and cancer remission, can easily develop evasion mechanisms for TRAIL apoptosis. By further modifying their properties, they take advantage of this molecule to improve survival and angiogenesis. The molecular mechanisms that CSCs use for TRAIL resistance and angiogenesis development are not well elucidated. Recent research has shown that proteins and transcription factors from the cell cycle, survival, and invasion pathways are involved. This review summarizes the main mechanism of cell adaption by TRAIL to promote response angiogenic or pro-angiogenic intermediates that facilitate TRAIL resistance regulation and cancer progression by CSCs and novel strategies to induce apoptosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Anticancer Strategies (Volume II))
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Review
Second-Generation Antimitotics in Cancer Clinical Trials
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(7), 1011; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13071011 - 02 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 665
Abstract
Mitosis represents a promising target to block cancer cell proliferation. Classical antimitotics, mainly microtubule-targeting agents (MTAs), such as taxanes and vinca alkaloids, are amongst the most successful anticancer drugs. By disrupting microtubules, they activate the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC), which induces a prolonged [...] Read more.
Mitosis represents a promising target to block cancer cell proliferation. Classical antimitotics, mainly microtubule-targeting agents (MTAs), such as taxanes and vinca alkaloids, are amongst the most successful anticancer drugs. By disrupting microtubules, they activate the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC), which induces a prolonged delay in mitosis, expected to induce cell death. However, resistance, toxicity, and slippage limit the MTA’s effectiveness. With the desire to overcome some of the MTA’s limitations, mitotic and SAC components have attracted great interest as promising microtubule-independent targets, leading to the so-called second-generation antimitotics (SGAs). The identification of inhibitors against most of these targets, and the promising outcomes achieved in preclinical assays, has sparked the interest of academia and industry. Many of these inhibitors have entered clinical trials; however, they exhibited limited efficacy as monotherapy, and failed to go beyond phase II trials. Combination therapies are emerging as promising strategies to give a second chance to these SGAs. Here, an updated view of the SGAs that reached clinical trials is here provided, together with future research directions, focusing on inhibitors that target the SAC components. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Anticancer Strategies (Volume II))
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Review
Cell-Penetrating Peptides: Applications in Tumor Diagnosis and Therapeutics
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(6), 890; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13060890 - 15 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 890
Abstract
Since their identification over twenty-five years ago, the plethora of cell-penetrating peptides (CPP) and their applications has skyrocketed. These 5 to 30 amino acid in length peptides have the unique property of breaching the cell membrane barrier while carrying cargoes larger than themselves [...] Read more.
Since their identification over twenty-five years ago, the plethora of cell-penetrating peptides (CPP) and their applications has skyrocketed. These 5 to 30 amino acid in length peptides have the unique property of breaching the cell membrane barrier while carrying cargoes larger than themselves into cells in an intact, functional form. CPPs can be conjugated to fluorophores, activatable probes, radioisotopes or contrast agents for imaging tissues, such as tumors. There is no singular mechanism for translocation of CPPs into a cell, and therefore, many CPPs are taken up by a multitude of cell types, creating the challenge of tumor-specific translocation and hindering clinical effectiveness. Varying strategies have been developed to combat this issue and enhance their diagnostic potential by derivatizing CPPs for better targeting by constructing specific cell-activated forms. These methods are currently being used to image integrin-expressing tumors, breast cancer cells, human histiocytic lymphoma and protease-secreting fibrosarcoma cells, to name a few. Additionally, identifying safe, effective therapeutics for malignant tumors has long been an active area of research. CPPs can circumvent many of the complications found in treating cancer with conventional therapeutics by targeted delivery of drugs into tumors, thereby decreasing off-target side effects, a feat not achievable by currently employed conventional chemotherapeutics. Myriad types of chemotherapeutics such as tyrosine kinase inhibitors, antitumor antibodies and nanoparticles can be functionally attached to these peptides, leading to the possibility of delivering established and novel cancer therapeutics directly to tumor tissue. While much research is needed to overcome potential issues with these peptides, they offer a significant advancement over current mechanisms to treat cancer. In this review, we present a brief overview of the research, leading to identification of CPPs with a comprehensive state-of-the-art review on the role of these novel peptides in both cancer diagnostics as well as therapeutics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Anticancer Strategies (Volume II))
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Review
Recent Progress in Lipid Nanoparticles for Cancer Theranostics: Opportunity and Challenges
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(6), 840; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13060840 - 07 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1017
Abstract
Cancer is one of the major leading causes of mortality in the world. The implication of nanotherapeutics in cancer has garnered splendid attention owing to their capability to efficiently address various difficulties associated with conventional drug delivery systems such as non-specific biodistribution, poor [...] Read more.
Cancer is one of the major leading causes of mortality in the world. The implication of nanotherapeutics in cancer has garnered splendid attention owing to their capability to efficiently address various difficulties associated with conventional drug delivery systems such as non-specific biodistribution, poor efficacy, and the possibility of occurrence of multi-drug resistance. Amongst a plethora of nanocarriers for drugs, this review emphasized lipidic nanocarrier systems for delivering anticancer therapeutics because of their biocompatibility, safety, high drug loading and capability to simultaneously carrying imaging agent and ligands as well. Furthermore, to date, the lack of interaction between diagnosis and treatment has hampered the efforts of the nanotherapeutic approach alone to deal with cancer effectively. Therefore, a novel paradigm with concomitant imaging (with contrasting agents), targeting (with biomarkers), and anticancer agent being delivered in one lipidic nanocarrier system (as cancer theranostics) seems to be very promising in overcoming various hurdles in effective cancer treatment. The major obstacles that are supposed to be addressed by employing lipidic theranostic nanomedicine include nanomedicine reach to tumor cells, drug internalization in cancer cells for therapeutic intervention, off-site drug distribution, and uptake via the host immune system. A comprehensive account of recent research updates in the field of lipidic nanocarrier loaded with therapeutic and diagnostic agents is covered in the present article. Nevertheless, there are notable hurdles in the clinical translation of the lipidic theranostic nanomedicines, which are also highlighted in the present review along with plausible countermeasures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Anticancer Strategies (Volume II))
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Review
A Review of Repurposed Cancer Drugs in Clinical Trials for Potential Treatment of COVID-19
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(6), 815; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13060815 - 30 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1484
Abstract
The pandemic of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) represents an unprecedented challenge to identify effective drugs for prevention and treatment. While the world’s attention is focused on news of COVID-19 vaccine updates, clinical management still requires improvement. Due to the similarity of cancer-induced [...] Read more.
The pandemic of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) represents an unprecedented challenge to identify effective drugs for prevention and treatment. While the world’s attention is focused on news of COVID-19 vaccine updates, clinical management still requires improvement. Due to the similarity of cancer-induced inflammation, immune dysfunction, and coagulopathy to COVID-19, anticancer drugs, such as Interferon, Pembrolizumab or Bicalutamide, are already being tested in clinical trials for repurposing, alone or in combination. Given the rapid pace of scientific discovery and clinical data generated by the large number of people rapidly infected, clinicians need effective medical treatments for this infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Anticancer Strategies (Volume II))
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Review
Oncogenic and Tumor Suppressive Components of the Cell Cycle in Breast Cancer Progression and Prognosis
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(4), 569; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13040569 - 17 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 741
Abstract
Cancer, a disease of inappropriate cell proliferation, is strongly interconnected with the cell cycle. All cancers consist of an abnormal accumulation of neoplastic cells, which are propagated toward uncontrolled cell division and proliferation in response to mitogenic signals. Mitogenic stimuli include genetic and [...] Read more.
Cancer, a disease of inappropriate cell proliferation, is strongly interconnected with the cell cycle. All cancers consist of an abnormal accumulation of neoplastic cells, which are propagated toward uncontrolled cell division and proliferation in response to mitogenic signals. Mitogenic stimuli include genetic and epigenetic changes in cell cycle regulatory genes and other genes which regulate the cell cycle. This suggests that multiple, distinct pathways of genetic alterations lead to cancer development. Products of both oncogenes (including cyclin-dependent kinase (CDKs) and cyclins) and tumor suppressor genes (including cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors) regulate cell cycle machinery and promote or suppress cell cycle progression, respectively. The identification of cyclins and CDKs help to explain and understand the molecular mechanisms of cell cycle machinery. During breast cancer tumorigenesis, cyclins A, B, C, D1, and E; cyclin-dependent kinase (CDKs); and CDK-inhibitor proteins p16, p21, p27, and p53 are known to play significant roles in cell cycle control and are tightly regulated in normal breast epithelial cells. Following mitogenic stimuli, these components are deregulated, which promotes neoplastic transformation of breast epithelial cells. Multiple studies implicate the roles of both types of components—oncogenic CDKs and cyclins, along with tumor-suppressing cyclin-dependent inhibitors—in breast cancer initiation and progression. Numerous clinical studies have confirmed that there is a prognostic significance for screening for these described components, regarding patient outcomes and their responses to therapy. The aim of this review article is to summarize the roles of oncogenic and tumor-suppressive components of the cell cycle in breast cancer progression and prognosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Anticancer Strategies (Volume II))
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Review
Chronicles of Nanoerythrosomes: An Erythrocyte-Based Biomimetic Smart Drug Delivery System as a Therapeutic and Diagnostic Tool in Cancer Therapy
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 368; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030368 - 10 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 998
Abstract
Recently, drug delivery using natural biological carriers has emerged as one of the most widely investigated topics of research. Erythrocytes, or red blood cells, can act as potential carriers for a wide variety of drugs, including anticancer, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory, along with [...] Read more.
Recently, drug delivery using natural biological carriers has emerged as one of the most widely investigated topics of research. Erythrocytes, or red blood cells, can act as potential carriers for a wide variety of drugs, including anticancer, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory, along with various proteins, peptides, enzymes, and other macromolecules. The red blood cell-based nanocarrier systems, also called nanoerythrosomes, are nanovesicles poised with extraordinary features such as long blood circulation times, the ability to escape immune system, the ability to release the drug gradually, the protection of drugs from various endogenous factors, targeted and specified delivery of drugs, as well as possessing both therapeutic and diagnostic applications in various fields of biomedical sciences. Their journey over the last two decades is escalating with fast pace, ranging from in vivo to preclinical and clinical studies by encapsulating a number of drugs into these carriers. Being biomimetic nanoparticles, they have enhanced the stability profile of drugs and their excellent site-specific targeting ability makes them potential carrier systems in the diagnosis and therapy of wide variety of tumors including gliomas, lung cancers, breast cancers, colon cancers, gastric cancers, and other solid tumors. This review focuses on the most recent advancements in the field of nanoerythrosomes, as an excellent and promising nanoplatform for the novel drug delivery of various drugs particularly antineoplastic drugs along with their potential as a promising diagnostic tool for the identification of different tumors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Anticancer Strategies (Volume II))
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Review
Inorganic Nanoparticles Applied for Active Targeted Photodynamic Therapy of Breast Cancer
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030296 - 24 Feb 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1029
Abstract
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an alternative modality to conventional cancer treatment, whereby a specific wavelength of light is applied to a targeted tumor, which has either a photosensitizer or photochemotherapeutic agent localized within it. This light activates the photosensitizer in the presence of [...] Read more.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an alternative modality to conventional cancer treatment, whereby a specific wavelength of light is applied to a targeted tumor, which has either a photosensitizer or photochemotherapeutic agent localized within it. This light activates the photosensitizer in the presence of molecular oxygen to produce phototoxic species, which in turn obliterate cancer cells. The incidence rate of breast cancer (BC) is regularly growing among women, which are currently being treated with methods, such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery. These conventional treatment methods are invasive and often produce unwanted side effects, whereas PDT is more specific and localized method of cancer treatment. The utilization of nanoparticles in PDT has shown great advantages compared to free photosensitizers in terms of solubility, early degradation, and biodistribution, as well as far more effective intercellular penetration and uptake in targeted cancer cells. This review gives an overview of the use of inorganic nanoparticles (NPs), including: gold, magnetic, carbon-based, ceramic, and up-conversion NPs, as well as quantum dots in PDT over the last 10 years (2009 to 2019), with a particular focus on the active targeting strategies for the PDT treatment of BC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Anticancer Strategies (Volume II))
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