Polymer-mediated delivery of siRNAs to hepatocellular carcinoma: Variables affecting specificity and effectiveness

Rossella Farra, Francesco Musiani, Francesca Perrone, Maja Čemažar, Urška Kamenšek, Federica Tonon, Michela Abrami, Aleš Ručigaj, Mario Grassi, Gabriele Pozzato, Deborah Bonazza, Fabrizio Zanconati, Giancarlo Forte, Maguie El Boustani, Lucia Scarabel, Marica Garziera, Concetta Russo Spena, Lucia De Stefano, Barbara Salis, Giuseppe ToffoliFlavio Rizzolio, Gabriele Grassi, Barbara Dapas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Despite the advances in anticancer therapies, their effectiveness for many human tumors is still far from being optimal. Significant improvements in treatment efficacy can come from the enhancement of drug specificity. This goal may be achieved by combining the use of therapeutic molecules with tumor specific effects and delivery carriers with tumor targeting ability. In this regard, nucleic acid-based drug (NABD) and particularly small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), are attractive molecules due to the possibility to be engineered to target specific tumor genes. On the other hand, polymeric-based delivery systems are emerging as versatile carriers to generate tumor-targeted delivery systems. Here we will focus on the most recent findings in the selection of siRNA/polymeric targeted delivery systems for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a human tumor for which currently available therapeutic approaches are poorly effective. In addition, we will discuss the most attracting and, in our opinion, promising siRNA-polymer combinations for HCC in relation to the biological features of HCC tissue. Attention will be also put on the mathematical description of the mechanisms ruling siRNA-carrier delivery, this being an important aspect to improve effectiveness reducing the experimental work.

Original languageEnglish
Article number777
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018


  • HCC
  • Optimized drug delivery
  • SiRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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