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Natural Products-Based Nanoformulations: A New Approach Targeting CSCs to Cancer Therapy


Review

. 2022 Sep 14;17:4163-4193.


doi: 10.2147/IJN.S380697.


eCollection 2022.

Affiliations

Item in Clipboard

Review

Wenhao Liao et al.


Int J Nanomedicine.


.

Abstract

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) lead to the occurrence and progression of cancer due to their strong tumorigenic, self-renewal, and multidirectional differentiation abilities. Existing cancer treatment methods cannot effectively kill or inhibit CSCs but instead enrich them and produce stronger proliferation, invasion, and metastasis capabilities, resulting in cancer recurrence and treatment resistance, which has become a difficult problem in clinical treatment. Therefore, targeting CSCs may be the most promising approach for comprehensive cancer therapy in the future. A variety of natural products (NP) have significant antitumor effects and have been identified to target and inhibit CSCs. However, pharmacokinetic defects and off-target effects have greatly hindered their clinical translation. NP-based nanoformulations (NPNs) have tremendous potential to overcome the disadvantages of NP against CSCs through site-specific delivery and by improving their pharmacokinetic parameters. In this review, we summarize the recent progress of NPNs targeting CSCs in cancer therapy, looking forward to transforming preclinical research results into clinical applications and bringing new prospects for cancer treatment.


Keywords:

cancer; cancer stem cells; nanoformulations; natural products; targeted therapy.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors report no conflicts of interest in this work.

Figures



Figure 1

CSCs and tumor progression. Normal stem cells give rise to multipotent progenitor cells, committed progenitor cells, and mature differentiated cells. Oncogenic mutations, microenvironmental alterations, and epigenetic modifications lead to the emergence and abnormal proliferation of CSCs, promoting the development and progression of malignant tumors.


Figure 2


Figure 2

CSC-related malignant tumor behavior. CSCs are cells in tumors that can self-renew and generate heterogeneous tumor cells, such as breast cancer and gastric cancer. The presence of CSCs promotes tumorigenesis, growth, metastasis, EMT, drug resistance, and recurrence.


Figure 3


Figure 3

Drug delivery nanocarriers for NP.


Figure 4


Figure 4

Chemical structure of NPs targeting CSCs.


Figure 5


Figure 5

Mechanism of targeting CSCs by curcumin nanoformulations. A nanotechnology-based drug delivery system can improve the bioavailability and antitumor activity of curcumin and promote the targeting of curcumin to CSCs. By regulating surface markers, signaling pathways, the tumor microenvironment, EMT, and other mechanisms of CSCs, curcumin nanoformulations have shown excellent efficacy against pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, glioma, and other cancers.


Figure 6


Figure 6

Mechanism and advantages of paclitaxel and docetaxel nanoformulations. Nanoformulations of paclitaxel and docetaxel significantly improved their physicochemical properties. By modulating key signaling pathways, surface markers and other mechanisms of CSCs, nanoformulations of paclitaxel and docetaxel significantly inhibited cancer migration, invasion, progression, recurrence, and drug resistance.

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