Recent advances in delivery of drug-nucleic acid combinations for cancer treatment

Jing Li, Yan Wang, Yu Zhu, David Oupický

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

173 Scopus citations


Cancer treatment that uses a combination of approaches with the ability to affect multiple disease pathways has been proven highly effective in the treatment of many cancers. Combination therapy can include multiple chemotherapeutics or combinations of chemotherapeutics with other treatment modalities like surgery or radiation. However, despite the widespread clinical use of combination therapies, relatively little attention has been given to the potential of modern nanocarrier delivery methods, like liposomes, micelles, and nanoparticles, to enhance the efficacy of combination treatments. This lack of knowledge is particularly notable in the limited success of vectors for the delivery of combinations of nucleic acids with traditional small molecule drugs. The delivery of drug-nucleic acid combinations is particularly challenging due to differences in the physicochemical properties of the two types of agents. This review discusses recent advances in the development of delivery methods using combinations of small molecule drugs and nucleic acid therapeutics to treat cancer. This review primarily focuses on the rationale used for selecting appropriate drug-nucleic acid combinations as well as progress in the development of nanocarriers suitable for simultaneous delivery of drug-nucleic acid combinations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)589-600
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013


  • Cancer treatment
  • Combination therapy
  • Drug delivery
  • Gene delivery
  • Multifunctional nanocarriers
  • siRNA delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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