Nitric oxide (NO) is known to have dichotomous effects on cancer biology, acting as a pro- or antineoplastic
agent. Low concentrations of NO are reported to promote tumor growth, whereas high NO influx
acts as a potent tumor repressor, leading to cytotoxicity and apoptosis. There is increasing interest in developing
NO-releasing materials as potent tumoricidal agents in which high and localized concentrations of NO may be directly
released in a sustained manner to the tumor site. Nanomaterials allied to NO donors have emerged as a promising strategy
in cancer treatment. In this context, this review summarizes the roles of NO in cancer biology and highlights the therapeutic
potential effects of NO-releasing nanomaterials based on polymeric nanoparticles, dendritic polymers, liposomes, silica
nanoparticles, metallic nanoparticles and quantum dots in combating tumor cells.
Keywords: Cancer, Cytotoxicity, Dendrimers, Diazeniumdiolates, Liposomes, Metallic nanoparticles, Nanomaterials, Nitric
Oxide, Polymeric nanoparticles, Quantum dots, Silica nanoparticles, S-nitrosothiols.
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