The advantages of cytotoxic drugs such as anthracyclines can be limited by the harmful damage that they inflicted on the human body. One of the main side effects of administering such powerful chemotherapeutic drugs is their negative impact on the cardiovascular system. These adverse side effects can significantly limit the usefulness of freely administered drugs such as doxorubicin. Lower doses must be given for the safety and well being of the patients while ultimately reducing the potency of the drug itself.
Immunoliposomes can allow for the targeted delivery of anthracyclines such as doxorubicin. Specific targeting greatly decreases the detrimental side effects to sensitive tissues outside the targeted site while simultaneously acquiescing a larger dosage of drug at the tumor site without larger doses actually being administered. Immunoliposomes contain reactive lipids on their outer surface that allow for the conjugation of different molecules such as antibodies, peptides, or proteins. The conjugated compounds elicit site-specific delivery of the encapsulated drug.
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