Recent advances in nanotechnology and nanobiotechnology have contributed to the development of nanomaterials,
able to be used as drug carriers, probes, targets or cytostatic drugs by itself. Nanomedicine is now the leading area in
nanotechnology where a large number and types of nanoparticles (NPs) has been developed and several are already in the
clinical practice. Chemotherapy is one of the most widely used strategies to treat cancer. Most chemotherapeutic agents
have poor solubility, low bioavailability, and are formulated with toxic solvents. NPs have been designed to overcome the
lack of specificity of chemotherapeutic agents as well to improve circulation time in blood, taking advantages on tumor
cells characteristics. In immunology, recent advances regarding the activation of the innate immune system artificially enhanced
by NPs functionalized with immune-stimulators open a new window as novel methods in vaccines. Also, viruses
and virus-like particles (VLPs) engineered to stimulate immune response against their similar virus or as molecular platforms
for the presentation of foreign epitopes have been described. In this review we focused in the use of different types
of NPs in oncology and immunology, pinpointing the main novelties regarding their development and use of nanotechnology
in a broad array of applications, ranging from tumor diagnostics, immune-modulation up to cancer therapeutics.
Keywords: Cancer therapy, drug delivery, immune system, nanomedicine, nanoparticles, nanotechnology.
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