Background: Cancer was and still a very stressful and urgent disease condition representing
a leading cause of death in developed as well as developing countries. Although, much research work
in both medical and pharmaceutical fields has evolved in the past few years in addition to some promising
clinical trials and few market products, cancer becomes much wilder, threatening and getting
more lives. Most approaches have focused on the synthesis of new active ingredients or chemical
modification of available ones, formulating them in suitable dosage forms aiming for targeted and effective
drug delivery with minimal side effects.
Method: Recently, application of nanotechnology through formulation of nanocarriers has acquired
much more attention in treating different types of cancer tumors. Being explored in cancer therapy,
nanocarriers have shown a promising capability to enhance intracellular uptake of active agents, promoting
their accumulation in the tumor mass in addition to the reduction of the cellular toxicity compared
to conventional chemotherapeutics.
Results: In view of the above findings, this review discusses recent advances in nanotechnology-based
carriers for cancer drug delivery, providing detailed description of different nanocarriers from historical
perspective since the first developed carrier up to the new strategies adopted to formulate novel
multifunctional targeted nanocarriers for cancer therapy.
Conclusion: The findings of this review illustrate the potential of nanotechnology-based carriers as an
emerging technology for more satisfying and selective cancer therapy.