Recent advances in herbal combination nanomedicine for cancer: delivery technology and therapeutic outcomes

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Research Article

Publication Title

Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery

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Introduction: The use of herbal compounds in cancer therapy has great potential to promote the efficacy of current cancer therapeutic strategies. Herbal compounds were successfully reported to enhance tumor cells sensitization to the action of chemo-, hormonal- and gene-therapeutic agents via different mechanisms. Herbal ingredients can affect different signaling pathways, reduce the toxic side effects or inhibit the efflux of anticancer drugs. Areas covered: This review will discuss the delivery of herbal compounds with other cancer treatments such as hormonal, small molecule inhibitors and inorganic hybrids to tumor cells. An overview of physicochemical properties of herbal components that require intelligent design of combo-nanomedicines for efficient co-delivery of those herbal-derived and other anticancer agents was discussed. Nanocarriers provide various benefits to overcome the shortcomings of the encapsulated herbal compounds including improved solubility, increased stability and enhanced tumor targeting. Different nanocarrier systems were the focus of this review. Expert opinion: Multifunctional nanocarrier systems encapsulating herbal and different anticancer drugs showed to be a wonderful approach in the treatment of cancer enabling the co-delivery of anticancer drugs with versatile modes of action in an accurate manner in an attempt to enhance the efficacy, benefit from the synergism between the drugs as well as to minimize the development of multi-drug resistance. The main challenge point is the early detection and management of any developed adverse effect.

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