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Shadab Mohammad, Shalini Gupta, Sana Farooqui, Saurabh Srivastava*


Now‟s days nanotechnology have been applied in the field of biomedicine, particularly in cancer diagnosis and treatment, promises to have a profound impact on healthcare. The exploitation of the unique properties of nano-sized particles for cancer therapeutics is most popularly known as nanomedicine. This review has summarized the current state of nanomedicine in the field of cancer detection and their application of nanotechnology to treatment. Current cancer detection methods rely on the patient contacting their provider when they feel ill, or relying on non-specific screening methods, which unfortunately often result in cancers being detected only after it is too late for effective treatment. Cancer treatment paradigms mainly rely on whole body treatment with chemotherapy agents, exposing the patient to medications that non-specifically kill rapidly dividing cells, leading to debilitating side effects. In addition, the use of toxic organic solvents/excipients can hamper the further effectiveness of the anticancer drug. Nanomedicine has the potential to increase the specificity of treatment of cancer cells while leaving healthy cells intact through the use of novel nanoparticles. This review discusses the use of nanoparticles such as quantum dots, nanoshells, nanocrystals, nanocells, and dendrimers for the detection and treatment of cancer. Future directions and perspectives of this cutting-edge technology are also discussed. There has been an unprecedented expansion in the field of nanomedicine with the development of new nanoparticles for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Nanoparticles have unique biological properties given their small size and large surface area-to-volume ratio, which allows them to bind, absorb, and carry compounds such as small molecule drugs, DNA, RNA, proteins, and probes with high efficiency. Their tunable size, shape, and surface characteristics also enable them to have high stability, high carrier capacity, the ability to incorporate both hydrophilic and hydrophobic substances and compatibility with different administration routes, thereby making them highly attractive in many aspects of oncology. This review article will discuss how nanoparticles are able to function as carriers for chemotherapeutic drugs to increase their therapeutic index; how they can function as therapeutic agents in photodynamic, gene, and thermal therapy; and how nanoparticles can be used as molecular imaging agents to detect and monitor cancer progression.

Keywords: Cancer therapeutics nanoshells, nanocrystals, nanocells, and dendrimers.

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