Acta Pharm. 55 (2005) 1-25[ Full paper in PDF ]
Liposomes have been widely investigated since 1970 as drug carriers for improving the delivery of therapeutic agents to specific sites in the body. As a result, numerous improvements have been made, thus making this technology potentially useful for the treatment of certain diseases in the clinics. The success of liposomes as drug carriers has been reflected in a number of liposome-based formulations, which are commercially available or are currently undergoing clinical trials. The current pharmaceutical preparations of liposome-based therapeutic systems mainly result from our understanding of lipid-drug interactions and liposome disposition mechanisms. The insight gained from clinical use of liposome drug delivery systems can now be integrated to design liposomes that can be targeted on tissues, cells or intracellular compartments with or without expression of target recognition molecules on liposome membranes. This review is mainly focused on the diseases that have attracted most attention with respect to liposomal drug delivery and have therefore yielded most progress, namely cancer, antibacterial and antifungal disorders. In addition, increased gene transfer efficiencies could be obtained by appropriate selection of the gene transfer vector and mode of delivery.
Keywords: liposomes, clinical applications, cancer therapy, gene therapy, amphotericin B, doxorubicin