Targeted Cancer Treament Delivery
through the Vasculature

Folic Acid Targeting
Wang, S. & Low, P.S. Folate-mediated targeting of antineoplastic drugs, imaging agents, and nucleic acids to cancer cells. J Control Release 53, 39-48 (1998).
Schematic of folic acid targeting mechnism
Multi-component dendrimer delivery system












Folic Acid










Folic Acid Targeting


Folic acid, or folate is a B vitamin that is critical for essential bodily functions. Folic acid is involved in the metabolism of proteins, synthesis of DNA as well as production of red blood cells. However, it has been discovered that folic acid receptors are over-expressed in a variety of cancer types, especially ovarian cancer. Therefore, folic acid has been used in the design of targeted delivery system that relies on surface receptor proteins to target the tumors.


Although folic acid lack the ability to target multiple different target as in the case of antibodies, folic acid is a naturally occurring chemical that can be easily obtained. This ease of production offers several advantages: production cost is significantly decreased, can be used easily to screen against various cancer types and simpler conjugation to a variety of chemicals.
























More recently, folic acid has been conjugated to novel nano-structures to create new targeted drug delivery systems. For instance, Dr. Baker's group from Univ. of Michigan conjugated folic acid to a dendrimer system that has the capabilites of simultaneously delivering multiple distinct molecules.