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Synthetic Receptors for Early Detection and Treatment of Cancer

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Higson, Seamus 


Over recent decades, synthetic macrocyclic compounds have attracted interest from the scientific community due to their ability to selectively and reversibly form complexes with a huge variety of guest moieties. These molecules have been studied within a wide range of sensing and other fields. Within this review, we will give an overview of the most common synthetic macrocyclic compounds including cyclodextrins, calixarenes, calixresorcinarenes, pillarenes and cucurbiturils. These species all display the ability to form a wide range of complexes. This makes these compounds suitable in the field of cancer detection since they can bind to either cancer cell surfaces or indeed to marker compounds for a wide variety of cancers. The formation of such complexes allows sensitive and selective detection and quantification of such guests. Many of these compounds also show potential for the detection and encapsulation of environmental carcinogens. Furthermore, many anti-cancer drugs, although effective in in vitro tests, are not suitable for use directly for cancer treatment due to low solubility, inherent instability in in vivo environments or an inability to be adsorbed by or transported to the required sites for treatment. The reversible encapsulation of these species in a macrocyclic compound can greatly improve their solubility, stability and transport to required sites where they can be released for maximum therapeutic effect. Within this review, we intend to present the use of these species both in cancer sensing and treatment. The various macrocyclic compound families will be described, along with brief descriptions of their synthesis and properties, with an outline of their use in cancer detection and usage as therapeutic agents. Their use in the sensing of environmental carcinogens as well as their potential utilisation in the clean-up of some of these species will also be discussed


Peer reviewed: True

Publication status: Published


calixarene, cancer, cucurbituril, cyclodextrin, early diagnosis of cancer, synthetic receptors for early detection of cancer, synthetic receptors for treatment of cancer, Humans, Receptors, Artificial, Carcinogens, Environmental, Early Detection of Cancer, Macrocyclic Compounds, Cyclodextrins, Neoplasms

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