Tumor Biology

, Volume 36, Issue 8, pp 5727–5742 | Cite as

Folate-conjugated nanoparticles as a potent therapeutic approach in targeted cancer therapy

  • Behdokht Bahrami
  • Mousa Mohammadnia-Afrouzi
  • Peyman Bakhshaei
  • Yaghoub Yazdani
  • Ghasem Ghalamfarsa
  • Mehdi Yousefi
  • Sanam Sadreddini
  • Farhad Jadidi-Niaragh
  • Mohammad Hojjat-Farsangi


The selective and efficient drug delivery to tumor cells can remarkably improve different cancer therapeutic approaches. There are several nanoparticles (NPs) which can act as a potent drug carrier for cancer therapy. However, the specific drug delivery to cancer cells is an important issue which should be considered before designing new NPs for in vivo application. It has been shown that cancer cells over-express folate receptor (FR) in order to improve their growth. As normal cells express a significantly lower levels of FR compared to tumor cells, it seems that folate molecules can be used as potent targeting moieties in different nanocarrier-based therapeutic approaches. Moreover, there is evidence which implies folate-conjugated NPs can selectively deliver anti-tumor drugs into cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo. In this review, we will discuss about the efficiency of different folate-conjugated NPs in cancer therapy.


Folate Folate receptor Nanoparticle Cancer therapy 


Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Behdokht Bahrami
    • 1
  • Mousa Mohammadnia-Afrouzi
    • 2
  • Peyman Bakhshaei
    • 3
  • Yaghoub Yazdani
    • 4
  • Ghasem Ghalamfarsa
    • 5
  • Mehdi Yousefi
    • 6
    • 7
  • Sanam Sadreddini
    • 6
  • Farhad Jadidi-Niaragh
    • 3
  • Mohammad Hojjat-Farsangi
    • 8
    • 9
  1. 1.Department of Immunology, School of MedicineShiraz University of Medical SciencesShirazIran
  2. 2.Department of Immunology and Microbiology, School of MedicineBabol University of Medical SciencesBabolIran
  3. 3.Department of Immunology, School of Public HealthTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  4. 4.Infectious Diseases Research Center and Laboratory Science Research CenterGolestan University of Medical SciencesGorganIran
  5. 5.Cellular and Molecular Research CenterYasuj University of Medical SciencesYasujIran
  6. 6.Immunology Research CenterTabriz University of Medical SciencesTabrizIran
  7. 7.Department of Immunology, Faculty of MedicineTabriz University of Medical SciencesTabrizIran
  8. 8.Department of Oncology-Pathology, Immune and Gene Therapy Lab, Cancer Center Karolinska (CCK)Karolinska University Hospital Solna and Karolinska InstituteStockholmSweden
  9. 9.Department of Immunology, School of MedicineBushehr University of Medical SciencesBushehrIran

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