Jump to Main Content
Towards protein-based viral mimetics for cancer therapies
- Unzueta, Ugutz, Céspedes, María Virtudes, Vázquez, Esther, Ferrer-Miralles, Neus, Mangues, Ramón, Villaverde, Antonio
- Trends in biotechnology 2015 v.33 no.5 pp. 253-258
- antineoplastic agents, biomimetics, nanocarriers, neoplasms, proteins, tissues
- High resistance and recurrence rates, together with elevated drug clearance, compel the use of maximum-tolerated drug doses in cancer therapy, resulting in high-grade toxicities and limited clinical applicability. Promoting active drug accumulation in tumor tissues would minimize such issues and improve therapeutic outcomes. A new class of therapeutic drugs suitable for the task has emerged based on the concept of virus-mimetic nanocarriers, or ‘artificial viruses’. Among the spectrum of materials under exploration in nanocarrier research, proteins offer unparalleled structural and functional versatility for designing virus-like molecular vehicles. By exhibiting ‘smart’ functions and biomimetic traits, protein-based nanocarriers will be a step ahead of the conventional drug–protein conjugates already in the clinic in ensuring efficient delivery of passenger antitumor drugs.