BMB Rep. 2015; 48(4): 234-237  
Therapeutic aptamers: developmental potential as anticancer drugs
Ji Won Lee, Hyun Jung Kim & Kyun Heo*
Research Institute, National Cancer Center, Goyang 410-769, Korea
Correspondence to: Tel: +82-31-920-2430; Fax: +82-31-920-2542; E-mail:
Received: December 30, 2014; Published online: April 30, 2015.
© Korean Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. All rights reserved.

Aptamers, composed of single-stranded DNA or RNA oligonucleotides that interact with target molecules through a specific three-dimensional structure, are selected from pools of combinatorial oligonucleotide libraries. With their high specificity and affinity for target proteins, ease of synthesis and modification, and low immunogenicity and toxicity, aptamers are considered to be attractive molecules for development as anticancer therapeutics. Two aptamers - one targeting nucleolin and a second targeting CXCL12 - are currently undergoing clinical trials for treating cancer patients, and many more are under study. In this mini-review, we present the current clinical status of aptamers and aptamer-based cancer therapeutics. We also discuss advantages, limitations, and prospects for aptamers as cancer therapeutics.
Keywords: Application, Aptamer, Cancer, Oligonucleotide, Therapeutics

This Article