Background: Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death in women worldwide. The extremely fast
rate of metastasis and ability to develop resistance mechanism to all the conventional drugs make them very difficult
to treat which are the causes of high morbidity and mortality of breast cancer patients. Scientists throughout the
world have been focusing on the early detection of breast tumor so that treatment can be started at the very early
stage. Moreover, conventional treatment processes such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and local surgery suffer from
various limitations including toxicity, genetic mutation of normal cells, and spreading of cancer cells to healthy tissues.
Therefore, new treatment regimens with minimum toxicity to normal cells need to be urgently developed.
Methods: Iron oxide nanoparticles have been widely used for targeting hyperthermia and imaging of breast cancer
cells. They can be conjugated with drugs, proteins, enzymes, antibodies or nucleotides to deliver them to target organs,
tissues or tumors using external magnetic field.
Results: Iron oxide nanoparticles have been successfully used as theranostic agents for breast cancer both in vitro
and in vivo. Furthermore, their functionalization with drugs or functional biomolecules enhance their drug delivery
efficiency and reduces the systemic toxicity of drugs.
Conclusion: This review mainly focuses on the versatile applications of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles
on the diagnosis, treatment, and detecting progress of breast cancer treatment. Their wide application is because of
their excellent superparamagnetic, biocompatible and biodegradable properties.