Background: Despite all the advances achieved in the field of tumor-biology research, in most
cases conventional therapies including chemotherapy are still the leading choices. The main disadvantage
of these treatments, in addition to the low solubility of many antitumor drugs, is their lack of specificity,
which leads to the occurrence of severe side effects due to nonspecific drug uptake by healthy cells.
Objective: The purpose of this manuscript is to review and analyze the recent progress made in cancer
Results: Progress in nanotechnology and its application in medicine have provided new opportunities
and different smart systems. Such systems can improve the intracellular delivery of the drugs due to
their multifunctionality and targeting potential. First, we provide a global overview of cancer and different
smart nanoparticles currently used in oncology. Then, we analyze in detail the development of
drug-delivery strategies in cancer therapy, focusing mainly on the intravenously administered smart
nanoparticles. Finally, we discuss the challenges, clinical trials, marketed nanomedicines and future
directions of the nanotherapy applied to cancer treatment.
Conclusión: In this review, we have evidenced the tremendous potential that smart drug-delivery systems
have to enhance the therapeutic effect of current standard treatment modalities, including chemotherapies