Archives of Pharmacal Research

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 4–15 | Cite as

Cancer multidrug resistance: mechanisms involved and strategies for circumvention using a drug delivery system

  • Golam Kibria
  • Hiroto Hatakeyama
  • Hideyoshi Harashima


Multidrug resistance (MDR), the principal mechanism by which many cancers develop resistance to chemotherapy, is one of the major obstacles to the successful clinical treatment of various types of cancer. Several key regulators are responsible for mediating MDR, a process that renders chemotherapeutic drugs ineffective in the internal organelles of target cells. A nanoparticulate drug delivery system (DDS) is a potentially promising tool for circumventing such MDR, which can be achieved by targeting tumor cells themselves or tumor endothelial cells that support the survival of MDR cancer cells. The present article discusses key factors that are responsible for MDR in cancer cells, with a specific focus on the application of DDS to overcome MDR via the use of chemotherapy or macromolecules.


Cancer multidrug resistance (MDR) Key regulators Drug delivery system Reversal of MDR 


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Copyright information

© The Pharmaceutical Society of Korea 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Golam Kibria
    • 1
  • Hiroto Hatakeyama
    • 1
  • Hideyoshi Harashima
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Innovative Nanomedicine, Faculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan

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