Drug delivery via lipoprotein-based carriers: Answering the challenges in systemic therapeutics

Nirupama Sabnis, Andras G. Lacko

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Plasma lipoproteins are transporters of lipids and other hydrophobic molecules in the mammalian circulation. Lipoproteins also have a strong potential to serve as drug-delivery vehicles due to their small size, long residence time in the circulation and high-drug payload. Consequently, lipoproteins and synthetic/reconstituted lipoprotein preparations have been evaluated with increasing interest towards clinical applications, particularly for cancer diagnostics/imaging and chemotherapy. In this review, past and current studies on lipoproteins and similar alternative drug carriers are discussed regarding their suitability as agents to deliver drugs, primarily to cancer cells and tumors. A lipoprotein-based delivery strategy may also provide a novel platform for improving the therapeutic efficacy of drugs that have previously been judged unsuitable or had only limited application due to poor solubility. An additional, and perhaps the most important aspect of the drug-delivery process via lipoprotein-type carriers, is the receptor-mediated uptake of the payload from the lipoprotein complex. Monitoring the expression of specific receptors prior to treatment could, thus, give rise to efficient selection of optimally responsive patients, resulting in a successful personalized therapy regimen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-608
Number of pages10
JournalTherapeutic Delivery
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2012


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