Nanomedicines as Cancer Therapeutics: Current Status
Mohammad Zaki Ahmad,
Farhan Jalees Ahmad,
Robbert J. Kok.
As of 21st century, cancer is arguably the most complex and challenging disease known to mankind and an
inevitable public health concern of this millennium. Nanotechnology, suitably amalgamated with cancer research, has
ushered an era of highly personalized and safer medicines which can improve cancer diagnosis and therapy. A wide
variety of nanomedicines are currently under investigation, including polymeric/non-polymeric nanoparticles, dendrimers,
quantum dots, carbon nanotubes, lipid- and micelle-based nanoparticles. The bases of these nanomedicines in reducing
toxicity associated with cancer therapy are their ability to carry a large payload and multivalent-ligand targeting. This
imparts specificity for targeting the tissues as well as bypass resistance mechanisms. The major hurdles on these future
medicines are potential toxicity of nanoparticles, which imposes the need of extensive regulatory evaluation before
nanomedicines could be utilized as cancer therapeutics. This review highlights nanopharmaceuticals that have been
investigated in oncology for various applications (diagnosis, therapeutic delivery and theranostics). It also discusses the
effects of nano-sized materials on tissues/organ functions, the possibility of overcoming multi-drug resistance by using
nanomedicines and their current clinical status.
Keywords: Cancer nanomedicine, multi-drug resistance, nanotechnology, nanotoxicity, regulatory, theranostics.
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