Contemporary Formulations for Drug Delivery of Anticancer Bioactive Compounds

Darinka G. Ackova, Katarina Smilkov, Darko Bosnakovski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The immense development in the field of anticancer research has led to an increase in the research of bioactive compounds with anticancer potential. It has been known that many bioactive natural compounds have low solubility (and low bioavailability) as their main drawback when it comes to the formulation and drug delivery to specific sites. OBJECTIVE: As many attempts have been made to overcome this issue, this review gives a summary of the current accomplishments regarding the development of new Drug Delivery Systems (DDSs) represented by nanoparticles (NPs) and exosomes. METHODS: We analyzed the published data concerning selected compounds that present the most prominent plant secondary metabolites with anticancer potential, specifically flavone (quercetin), isoflavone (genistein and curcumin) and stilbene (resveratrol) groups that have been formulated as NPs and exosomes. In addition, we summarized the patent literature published from 2015-2018 that address these formulations. RESULTS: Although the exact mechanism of action for the selected natural compounds still remains unclear, the anticancer effect is evident and the main research efforts are directed to finding the most suitable delivery systems. Recent patents in this field serve as evidence that these newly designed natural compound delivery systems could be powerful new anticancer agents in the very near future if the noted difficulties are overcome. CONCLUSION: The focus of recent research is not only to clarify the exact mechanisms of action and therapeutic effects, but also to answer the issue of suitable delivery systems that can transport sufficient doses of bioactive compounds to the desired target.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-31
Number of pages13
JournalRecent Patents on Anti-Cancer Drug Discovery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Bentham Science Publishers.


  • Anticancer agents
  • anticancer therapy
  • drug delivery systems
  • exosomes
  • nanoparticles
  • natural bioactive compounds
  • recent patents.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review


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