Stimuli-responsive ferroptosis for cancer therapy

Nayeon Kang, Subin Son, Sunhong Min, Hyunsik Hong, Chowon Kim, Jusung An, Jong Seung Kim, Heemin Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Ferroptosis, an iron-dependent programmed cell death mechanism, is regulated by distinct molecular pathways of lipid peroxidation caused by intracellular iron supplementation and glutathione (GSH) synthesis inhibition. It has attracted a great deal of attention as a viable alternative to typical apoptosis-based cancer therapy that exhibits drug resistance. For efficient therapeutic utilization of such a unique and desirable mechanism, precise control using various stimuli to activate the administered nanocarriers is essential. Specific conditions in the tumor microenvironment (e.g., acidic pH, high level of ROS and GSH, hypoxia, etc.) can be exploited as endogenous stimuli to ensure high specificity of the tumor site. Maximized spatiotemporal controllability can be assured by utilizing external energy sources (e.g., magnetic fields, ultrasound, microwaves, light, etc.) as exogenous stimuli that can provide on-demand remote controllability for customized deep tumor therapy with a low inter-patient variation. Strikingly, the utilization of dual endogenous and/or exogenous stimuli provides a new direction for efficient cancer therapy. This review highlights recent advances in the utilization of various endogenous and exogenous stimuli to activate the reactions of nanocarriers for ferroptosis-based cancer therapy that can inspire the field of cancer therapy, particularly for the treatment of intractable tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3955-3972
Number of pages18
JournalChemical Society Reviews
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2023 May 23

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (No. RS-2023-00208427, H. Kang; CRI project No. 2018R1A3B1052702, J. S. Kim).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry


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