Background and Objective: Nanocrystal technology is an effective approach which can increase the dissolution rate of poorly water-soluble drugs by raising their saturation solubility, thus improving the drug bioavailability. With the development of nanocrystals, its preparation approaches have gradually matured, which can be generally divided into Bottom-up, Top-down and Combinative technologies.
Methods: A systematic literature review in the field of nanocrystal technology for the cancer treatment was scanned and collected data was detailedly analyzed and summarized.
Results: Over the past decade, several anticancer drug nanocrystals have been explored and evaluated in preclinical studies and clinical trials. This review mainly covers the utilizations of the nanocrystal technology in enhancing the saturation solubility of anticancer drugs associated with the increased bioavailability and anticancer efficacy. Preparation methods and characterizations of nanocrystals are also introduced in brief. In addition, one critical step in the formation of drug nanocrystals is selecting suitable stabilizers for the system. Many types of research are heading towards the role of the stabilizers in the final nanocrystals formulation. So we summed up several commonly used stabilizers in order to give a reference to the further study. At last, we discussed some considerations raised by the application of nanocrystal drugs for cancer treatment.
Conclusion: This review is likely to enable a detailed insight on nanocrystal technology as a strategy to improve drug bioavailability and antitumor efficacy for the cancer treatment and be of particular interest to pharmaceutical industry.