Cathepsin B-cleavable doxorubicin prodrugs for targeted cancer therapy (Review).

International journal of oncology

PubMedID: 23291656

Zhong YJ, Shao LH, Li Y. Cathepsin B-cleavable doxorubicin prodrugs for targeted cancer therapy (Review). Int J Oncol. 2013;42(2):373-83.
Doxorubicin (DOX) is one of the most effective cytotoxic anticancer drugs used for the treatment of hematological malignancies, as well as a broad range of solid tumors. However, the clinical applications of this drug have long been limited due to its severe dose-dependent toxicities. Therefore, DOX derivatives and analogs have been developed to address this issue. A type of DOX prodrug, cleaved by cathepsin B (Cat B), which is highly upregulated in malignant tumors and premalignant lesions, has been developed to achieve a higher DOX concentration in tumor tissue and a lower concentration in normal tissue, so as to enhance the efficacy and reduce toxicity to normal cells. In this review, we focused on Cat B-cleavable DOX prodrugs and discussed the efficacy of these prodrugs, demonstrated by preclinical and clinical developments.