A prodrug forms nanocapsules responsive to tumor GSH/ROS heterogeneity releasing the parent drug SN38 via thiolysis in the presence of GSH (glutathione) or via enhanced hydrolysis due to ROS (reactive oxygen species)-oxidation of the linker, giving rise to high in vitro cytotoxicity and in vivo anticancer therapeutic activity. The nanocapsules are a suitable size for tumor targeting by means of the EPR effect and have a fixed SN38 loading content of 35 wt%, ideal for translational nanomedicine.
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