Multifunctional micellar nanomedicine for cancer therapy

Elvin Blanco, Chase W. Kessinger, Baran D. Sumer, Jinming Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

274 Scopus citations


Polymeric micelles are supramolecular, core-shell nanoparticles that offer considerable advantages for cancer diagnosis and therapy. Their relatively small size (10-100 nm), ability to solubilize hydrophobic drugs as well as imaging agents, and improved pharmacokinetics provide a useful bioengineering platform for cancer applications. Several polymeric micelle formulations are currently undergoing phase I/II clinical trials, which have shown improved antitumor efficacy and reduced systemic toxicity. This minireview will focus on recent advancements in the multifunctional design of micellar nanomedicine with tumor targeting, stimulated drug release, and cancer imaging capabilities. Such functionalization strategies result in enhanced micellar accumulation at tumor sites, higher drug bioavailability, as well as improved tumor diagnosis and visualization of therapy. Ultimately, integrated nanotherapeutic systems (e.g., theranostic nanomedicine) may prove essential to address the challenges of tumor heterogeneity and adaptive resistance to achieve efficacious treatment of cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-131
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • Cancer nanomedicine
  • Cancer targeting
  • Controlled release
  • Drug delivery systems
  • Polymeric micelles
  • Tumor imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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