Synthetic polymers, such as dendrimers, play a critical role in pharmaceutical discovery and development. Advances in the application of nanotechnology in medicine have given rise to multifunctional “smart” nanocarriers that can deliver one or more therapeutic agents safely and selectively to cancer cells, including intracellular gene-specific targeting. Dendrimers with their 3D nanopolymeric architectures are highly attractive class of drug and gene delivery vector. Advances in understanding and manipulating genes gave scientists a tool to make changes in people DNA to prevent or treat diseases. Over the past decade, gene therapy has been in use in clinical trials. The inactivation of the tumor suppressor genes is the main idea of the development of gene therapy in the cancer treatment. Broad spectrum of delivery concepts, including viral vectors, liposomes, cationic polymers and dendrimers, cell-penetrating peptides and gold and magnetic nanoparticles have been investigated. A well-designed vector is the most desirable approach to increase the safety of gene therapy, which is still in its infancy stages in cancer research. More experimental and clinical trials are focused on well-designed and effective doses of vectors that are essential for therapeutic efficacy of gene therapy for its potential in clinical use against a wide variety of cancers.
Part of the book: Dendrimers