Cancer is a disease manifested as abnormal cells division without control. If it is not detected and cured very timely, it can invade other healthy tissues resulting in metastasis. Chemotherapy is the first line treatment for cancer, but due to lack of specificity of most of the anticancer drugs, is associated with side effects that affect the quality of life. Nanostructured lipid carriers (NLC) are one of the promising nano-carriers for the development of effective targeted therapies for cancer chemotherapeutics. These bio-compatible and/or bio-degradable lipids based nanoparticles are composed of solid and liquid lipids as a core matrix dispersed in surfactant solution. NLC improve the aqueous solubility of most of the hydrophobic cancer therapeutics. Their surface modification can be used for overcoming drug resistance in cancer chemotherapy, to achieve site specific targeting for better efficacy and reduced dose related toxicity. The present review is an attempt to contemplate their pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical aspects and application in cell targeting, gene delivery and in theranostics.
Keywords: Nanostructured lipid carriers, p-glycoprotein, receptors, targeting, tumor, multidrug resistance, theranostics.