1. Department of Pharmacy, Women's Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, 310006, China.
2. Department of Gynecologic Oncology, Women's Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, 310006, China.
3. Department of Pharmacy, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, 310009, China.
# These authors contributed equally.
Cancer is generally considered a result of genetic mutations that cause epigenetic changes, leading to anomalous cellular behavior. Since 1970s, an increasing understanding of the plasma membrane and specifically the lipid alterations in tumor cells have provided novel insights for cancer therapy. Moreover, the advances in nanotechnology offer a potential opportunity to target the tumor plasma membrane while minimizing side effects on normal cells. To further develop membrane lipid perturbing tumor therapy, the first section of this review demonstrates the association between plasma membrane physicochemical properties and tumor signaling, metastasis, and drug resistance. The second section highlights existing nanotherapeutic strategies for membrane disruption, including lipid peroxide accumulation, cholesterol regulation, membrane structure disruption, lipid raft immobilization, and energy-mediated plasma membrane perturbation. Finally, the third section evaluates the prospects and challenges of plasma membrane lipid perturbing therapy as a therapeutic strategy for cancers. The reviewed membrane lipid perturbing tumor therapy strategies are expected to bring about necessary changes in tumor therapy in the coming decades.
Keywords: plasma membrane, nanotechnology, tumor, lipid, perturbing