The enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect in cancer treatment is one of the key mechanisms that enables drug accumulation at the tumor site. However, despite a plethora of virus/inorganic/organic-based nanocarriers designed to rely on the EPR effect to effectively target tumors, most have failed in the clinic. It seems that the non-compliance of research activities with clinical trials, goals unrelated to the EPR effect, and lack of awareness of the impact of solid tumor structure and interactions on the performance of drug nanocarriers have intensified this dissatisfac-tion. As such, the asymmetric growth and structural complexity of solid tumors, physicochemical properties of drug nanocarriers, EPR analytical combination tools, and EPR description goals should be considered to improve EPR-based cancer therapeutics. This review provides valuable insights into the limitations of the EPR effect in therapeutic efficacy and reports crucial perspectives on how the EPR effect can be modulated to improve the therapeutic effects of nanomedicine.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by Fondecyt No. 1080294 and Fondecyt 1110719. This work was made possible with the cooperation of Jimena Ibarra, Katherine Solis and Ignacio Rudolph.
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.