World Journal of Pharmacy and Biotechnology A Review on Nanotechnology in Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment
Cancer, a disease characterized by the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells, is still the second most common cause of death in the U.S. According to the American Cancer Society, about 571,950 Americans are expected to die in 2011 due to cancer, and that means more than 1,500 deaths per day. Current treatments for various cancers include surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy. Although these conventional therapies have improved patients' survival, they also have
... ey also have several limitations. For example, conventional cancer chemotherapy has the cancer therapeutic agents distributing non-specifically in the human body, thus these drugs affect both cancerous and normal cells. This non-specific distribution of drugs limits the therapeutic dose within cancer cells while providing excessive toxicities to normal cells, tissues, and organs; and thereby causing several adverse side effects including hair loss, weakness, and organ dysfunction, leading to a low quality of life for cancer patients. Nanoparticles (NPs) have been of significant interest over the last decade as they offer great benefits for drug delivery to overcome limitations in conventional chemotherapy. They can not only be formed in a range of sizes (1-1000nm) but also be made using a variety of materials including polymers (e.g. biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles, dendrimers), lipids (e.g. solid-lipid nanoparticles, liposomes), inorganic materials (e.g. metal nanoparticles, quantum dots), and biological materials (e.g. viral nanoparticles, albumin nanoparticles). Nanoparticles for anti-cancer drug delivery had reached the first clinical trial in the mid-1980s, and the first nanoparticles (e.g. liposomal with encapsulated doxorubicin) had entered the pharmaceutical market in 1995.