Expert Review

Pharmaceutical Research

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 618-627

First online:

Encapsulation of Nucleic Acids and Opportunities for Cancer Treatment

  • Lisa Brannon-PeppasAffiliated withDepartment of Biomedical Engineering and College of Pharmacy, The University of Texas at Austin Email author 
  • , Bilal GhosnAffiliated withDepartment of Biomedical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin
  • , Krishnendu RoyAffiliated withDepartment of Biomedical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin
  • , Kenneth CornettaAffiliated withDepartment of Medical and Molecular Genetics, Indiana University School of Medicine

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


The development of nucleic acid drugs for the treatment of various cancers has shown great promise in recent years. However, efficient delivery of these drugs to target cells remains a significant challenge towards the successful development of such therapies. This review provides a comprehensive overview of encapsulation technologies being developed for the delivery of nucleic acid-based anti-cancer agents. Both micro and nanoparticles systems are discussed along with their use in delivering plasmid DNA as well as oligonucleotides. The majority of the systems discussed have used DNA immunotherapy as the potential mode of anticancer therapy, which requires targeting to antigen presenting cells. Other applications, including those with oligonucleotides, focus on targeting tumor cells directly. The results obtained so far show the excellent promise of encapsulation as an efficient means of delivering therapeutic nucleic acids.

Key words

encapsulation cancer DNA gene particles