Background: Breast cancer accounts for nearly one in three cancers, and it is the most
common cancer diagnosed among women. The death rate of breast cancer is estimated to be 14%.
Hence, accurate diagnosis in early stage and effective treatment in any stage are critical for the survival
of breast cancer. Mammogram has been the most common technique administered to detect
breast cancer. However, the radiation dose from mammogram is harmful to patients. Fortunately,
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can diagnose breast cancer without any radiation dose, and enhanced
MRI can make earlier and differential diagnosis. Therefore, as contrast materials, superparamagnetic
iron oxide based nanoprobes (SPIONs) have generated a great deal of attention.
Objective: This review covers recent advances in SPIONs as multifunctional theranostic agents.
Methods: Besides synthesis and surface modification of SPIONs, passive and active targeted imaging
is also discussed. Moreover, a serial of potential therapy for breast cancer is further described, such as
photodynamic therapy, photothermal therapy, chemotherapy and magnetic hyperthermia therapy.
Conclusion: Preparation and surface modification of SPIONs is critical for imaging diagnosis of
breast cancer and further potential treatment.