Carbohydrate-based biomedical copolymers for targeted delivery of anticancer drugs

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    27 Scopus citations


    A variety of strategies and carrier molecules have been used to direct therapeutic agents to tumor sites. The incorporation of a specific targeting moiety to drug carrier may result in active drug uptake by malignant cells. Carbohydrates are important mediators of cellcell recognition events and have been implicated in related processes such as cell signaling regulation, cellular differentiation, and immune response. The biocompatibility of carbohydrates and their ability to be specifically recognized by cell-surface receptors indicate their potential utility as ligands in targeted drug delivery for therapeutic applications. Yet, carbohydrates are not ideal targeting ligands because they are difficult to synthesize, bind weakly to carbohydrate receptors, and are prone to suffer from enzyme degradation due to labile glycosidic linkages. This review describes the design and development of HPMA-based biomedical copolymers to facilitate the selective delivery of drugs to tumor tissues via carbohydrateendogenous lectin interactions. Various carbohydrate-decorated HPMA copolymerdrug conjugates are presented and the application of the copolymers for drug delivery is discussed. Current efforts to increase the affinity of carbohydrate ligands for their target receptors through multivalent display are also discussed. These novel HPMA copolymer carbohydrate conjugates hold promise as clinically relevant drug delivery systems for cancer therapy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)204-219
    Number of pages16
    JournalIsrael Journal of Chemistry
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - 1 Aug 2010


    • Anticancer therapy
    • Endogenous lectins
    • Glycotargeting
    • HPMA copolymers
    • Targeted drug delivery

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Chemistry (all)


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