Journal article Open Access

Polymer Therapeutics: Biomarkers and New Approaches for Personalized Cancer Treatment

Atkinson, Stuart P.; Andreu, Zoraida; Vicent, Maria J.

Polymer therapeutics (PTs) provides a potentially exciting approach for the treatment of many diseases by enhancing aqueous solubility and altering drug pharmacokinetics at both the whole organism and subcellular level leading to improved therapeutic outcomes. However, the failure of many polymer-drug conjugates in clinical trials suggests that we may need to stratify patients in order to match each patient to the right PT. In this concise review, we hope to assess potential PT-specific biomarkers for cancer treatment, with a focus on new studies, detection methods, new models and the opportunities this knowledge will bring for the development of novel PT-based anti-cancer strategies. We discuss the various “hurdles” that a given PT faces on its passage from the syringe to the tumor (and beyond), including the passage through the bloodstream, tumor targeting, tumor uptake and the intracellular release of the active agent. However, we also discuss other relevant concepts and new considerations in the field, which we hope will provide new insight into the possible applications of PT-related biomarkers.

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