Drug delivery to solid tumors by elastin-like polypeptides

  • McDaniel J
  • Callahan D
  • Chilkoti A
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Thermally responsive elastin-like polypeptides (ELPs) are a promising class of recombinant biopolymers for the delivery of drugs and imaging agents to solid tumors via systemic or local administration. This article reviews four applications of ELPs to drug delivery, with each delivery mechanism designed to best exploit the relationship between the characteristic transition temperature (Tt) of the ELP and body temperature (Tb). First, when Tt?Tb, small hydrophobic drugs can be conjugated to the C-terminus of the ELP to impart the amphiphilicity needed to mediate the self-assembly of nanoparticles. These systemically delivered ELP-drug nanoparticles preferentially localize to the tumor site via the EPR effect, resulting in reduced toxicity and enhanced treatment efficacy. The remaining three approaches take direct advantage of the thermal responsiveness of ELPs. In the second strategy, where Tb

Author-supplied keywords

  • Biopolymer
  • Cancer therapy
  • Elastin-like polypeptide
  • Hyperthermia
  • Lower critical solution temperature
  • Micelles
  • PH-controlled release
  • Thermally responsive polymer

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