Cancer is highly heterogeneous in nature and characterized by abnormal, uncontrolled cells’ growth. It
is responsible for the second leading cause of death in the world. Nanotechnology is explored profoundly for sitespecific
delivery of cancer chemotherapeutics as well as overcome multidrug-resistance (MDR) challenges in
cancer. The progress in the design of various smart biocompatible materials (such as polymers, lipids and inorganic
materials) has now revolutionized the area of cancer research for the rational design of nanomedicine by
surface engineering with targeting ligands. The small tunable size and surface properties of nanomedicines provide
the opportunity of multiple payloads and multivalent-ligand targeting to achieve drug efficacy even in MDR
cancer. Furthermore, efforts are being carried out for the development of novel nano-pharmaceutical design,
focusing on the delivery of therapeutic and diagnostic agents simultaneously which is called theranostics to assess
the progress of therapy in cancer. This review aimed to discuss the physicochemical manipulation of cancer
nanomedicine for rational design and recent progress in the area of surface engineering of nanomedicines to improve
the efficacy of cancer chemotherapeutics in MDR cancer as well. Moreover, the problem of toxicity of the
advanced functional materials that are used in nanomedicines and are exploited to achieve drug targeting in cancer
is also addressed.
Keywords: Cancer, multi-drug resistance (MDR), nanomedicine, surface-engineering, targeting, theranostics, toxicity apprehension.
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Richards R, Bönnemann H. Nanofabrication towards biomedical applications. New York: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA 2005; 81: 1-32.
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