Background: Cancer is one of the major leading causes of death worldwide and its prevalence
will be higher in the coming years due to the progressive aging of the population. The development
of nanocarriers in oncology has provided a new hope in the fight against this terrible disease.
Objective: Among the different types of nanoparticles which have been reported in the scientific literature,
mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) are very promising materials due to their inherent
properties such as high loading capacity of many different drugs, excellent biocompatibility and easy
Results: This review presents the current state of the art related to the development of mesoporous silica
nanocarriers for antitumoral therapy paying special attention on targeted MSN able to selectively
destroy tumoral cells, reducing the side damage in healthy ones, and the basic principles of targeting
tumoral tissues and cells.
Conclusions: MSNs constitute a promising nanomaterial for drug delivery applications in antitumoral
therapy as a consequence of its unique properties such as excellent biocompatibility, high loading capacity,
robustness, easy production and existence of multiple strategies for their functionalization with
a myriad of bio-organic moieties. In the coming years, the clever application of this material would
provide novel alternatives for the treatment of this complex disease.