Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer in both, men and women. The
development of metastasis is very frequent, especially in patients with advanced stage, who require intensive
chemotherapy that often results in poor response and significant morbidity. The undesirable effects
of intensive chemotherapy on normal cells and the development of multidrug resistance are two
of the main causes of treatment failure. Recent advances in nanotechnology allow to target cancer cells
using cytotoxic drugs without affecting normal cells. Nanocarriers such as liposomes, polymeric nanoparticles and carbon
nanotubes, among others, are able to improve drug distribution and bioavailability, cytotoxic concentration in the tumor
mass and drug delivery to tumor tissue and, at the same time, reduce side effects. Current research studies are being conducted
to develop new biomaterials that improve the characteristics of these nanomolecules. Several preclinical assays
have disclosed the efficacy of nanotherapy in colon cancer, although further clinical trials will be necessary to demonstrate
its efficacy. This review discusses the current status and the potential advantages of using nanocarrier-based drug
delivery systems for colorectal cancer.
Keywords: Carbon nanotubes, colon cancer, drug delivery, liposomes, nanoparticles, polymeric nanoparticles.
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