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2005 | 52 | 2 | 301-310
Article title

Design of vascular endothelium-specific drug-targeting strategies for the treatment of cancer.

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Tumor endothelial cells are actively involved in the neovascularization processes that accompany tumor growth. Their easy accessibility for systemically applied therapeutics makes them interesting targets for therapeutic intervention. Especially for drug targeting-based therapeutics that often consist of macromolecular moieties, the tumor endothelium is considered a much better target than the tumor cells located behind the vascular wall barrier. In this review, the general principles underlying the development and choices in the development of vascular drug-targeting strategies are discussed. An overview of target epitopes identified in the past two decades is followed by a summary of those strategies that directly or indirectly induced tumor blood flow blockade in vivo. The demonstrated therapeutic success in pre-clinical animal models in debulking large tumor masses and inhibiting tumor outgrowth warrant further development of these therapeutic approaches. Yet, more effort should be put in studies in which the efficacy of different effector activities aimed at the same target, of one effector activity aimed at different targets, and of multiple target strategies are be compared. Combining these data with proper inventories on the molecular basis of tumor endothelial heterogeneity in general will make possible the development of tumor vascular drug-targeting strategies towards clinical application.

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