Drug Resistance in Metastatic Breast Cancer: Tumor Targeted Nanomedicine to the Rescue

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Apr 28;22(9):4673. doi: 10.3390/ijms22094673.


Breast cancer, specifically metastatic breast, is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in women. This is mainly due to relapse and reoccurrence of tumor. The primary reason for cancer relapse is the development of multidrug resistance (MDR) hampering the treatment and prognosis. MDR can occur due to a multitude of molecular events, including increased expression of efflux transporters such as P-gp, BCRP, or MRP1; epithelial to mesenchymal transition; and resistance development in breast cancer stem cells. Excessive dose dumping in chemotherapy can cause intrinsic anti-cancer MDR to appear prior to chemotherapy and after the treatment. Hence, novel targeted nanomedicines encapsulating chemotherapeutics and gene therapy products may assist to overcome cancer drug resistance. Targeted nanomedicines offer innovative strategies to overcome the limitations of conventional chemotherapy while permitting enhanced selectivity to cancer cells. Targeted nanotheranostics permit targeted drug release, precise breast cancer diagnosis, and importantly, the ability to overcome MDR. The article discusses various nanomedicines designed to selectively target breast cancer, triple negative breast cancer, and breast cancer stem cells. In addition, the review discusses recent approaches, including combination nanoparticles (NPs), theranostic NPs, and stimuli sensitive or "smart" NPs. Recent innovations in microRNA NPs and personalized medicine NPs are also discussed. Future perspective research for complex targeted and multi-stage responsive nanomedicines for metastatic breast cancer is discussed.

PMID:33925129 | DOI:10.3390/ijms22094673