Targeting Strategies for Enhancing Paclitaxel Specificity in Chemotherapy

Yuan Ma, Sifan Yu, Shuaijian Ni, Baoxian Zhang, Angela Chun Fai Kung, Jin Gao, Aiping Lu, Ge Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Paclitaxel (PTX) has been used for cancer treatment for decades and has become one of the most successful chemotherapeutics in the clinic and financially. However, serious problems with its use still exist, owing to its poor solubility and non-selective toxicity. With respect to these issues, recent advances have addressed the water solubility and tumor specificity related to PTX application. Many measures have been proposed to remedy these limitations by enhancing tumor recognition via ligand-receptor-mediated targeting as well as other associated strategies. In this review, we investigated various kinds of ligands that have emerged as PTX tumor-targeting tools. In particular, this article highlights small molecule-, protein-, and aptamer-functionalized conjugates and nanoparticles (NPs), providing a promising approach for PTX-based individualized treatment prospects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number626910
Number of pages17
JournalFrontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

User-Defined Keywords

  • antibody
  • aptamer
  • ligand
  • paclitaxel
  • small molecule


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