The usage of peptide-based drugs to combat cancer is gaining significance in the pharmaceutical industry. The collateral damage caused to normal cells due to the use of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, etc. has given an impetus to the search for alternative methods of cancer treatment. For a long time, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have been shown to display anticancer activity. However, the immunomodulatory activity of anti-cancer peptides has not been researched very extensively. The interconnection of cancer and immune responses is well-known. Hence, a search and design of molecules that can show anti-cancer and immunomodulatory activity can be lead molecules in this field. A large number of anti-cancer peptides show good immunomodulatory activity by inhibiting the pro-inflammatory responses that assist cancer progression. Here, we thoroughly review both the naturally occurring and synthetic anti-cancer peptides that are reported to possess both anti-cancer and immunomodulatory activity. We also assess the structural and biophysical parameters that can be utilized to improve the activity. Both activities are mostly reported by different groups, however, we discuss them together to highlight their interconnection, which can be used in the future to design peptide drugs in the field of cancer therapeutics.
- ACPs (anti-cancer peptides)
- peptide drugs