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Nanotechnology-Based Biopolymeric Oral Delivery Platforms For Advanced Cancer Treatment

Vanessa T. Chivere, Pierre P. D. Kondiah, Yahya E. Choonara, Viness Pillay

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Routes of drug administration and their corresponding physiochemical characteristics play major roles in drug therapeutic efficiency and biological effects. Each route of delivery has favourable aspects and limitations. The oral route of delivery is the most convenient, widely accepted and safe route. However, the oral route of chemotherapeutics to date have displayed high gastric degradation, low aqueous solubility, poor formulation stability and minimum intestinal absorption. Thus, mainstream anti-cancer drugs in current formulations are not suitable as oral chemotherapeutic formulations. The use of biopolymers such as chitosan, gelatin, hyaluronic acid and polyglutamic acid, for the synthesis of oral delivery platforms, have potential to help overcome problems associated with oral delivery of chemotherapeutics. Biopolymers have favourable stimuli-responsive properties, and thus can be used to improve oral bioavailability of anti-cancer drugs. These biopolymeric formulations can protect gastric-sensitive drugs from pH degradation, target specific binding sites for targeted absorption and consequently control drug release. In this review, the use of various biopolymers as oral drug delivery systems for chemotherapeutics will be discussed.