Dual nanoparticle drug delivery: the future of anticancer therapies?

Current cancer therapies aim to reverse tumorigenesis through nonspecific elimination of cancer cells within the body, which can often result in systemic side effects for patients. Nanoparticles provide a unique platform for cancer therapeutics because their physical properties can be tailored to target-specific cancers, increase the bioavailability and accumulation of drugs, and reduce systemic effects of current therapies [1,2]. In recent years, nanoparticles for the treatment of cancer cells have evolved beyond a single delivery system to a realm of dual-loaded delivery of cancer therapeutics. Dual drug delivery systems allow for combinations of two or more cancer therapies loaded into one nanoparticle to treat cancer cells, increasing the efficacy of the cancer therapeutic and prompting new questions regarding drug synergy and nanoparticle-loading design [3]. Current designs are moving one step further from dual-loaded nanoparticles to multistage and dual nanoparticle systems that utilize more than a single nanoparticle platform and function in order to further increase therapeutic efficacy and overcome limitations. In this commentary, we briefly discuss recent applications using dual-loaded drug delivery systems for cancer therapies and some implications of dual nanoparticle efforts toward cancer treatment.

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