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Nanotechnology For Targeted Cancer Therapy

M. Wang, D. Shin, J. Simons, Shuming Nie
Published 2007 · Medicine

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Cancer nanotechnology is currently under intense development for applications in cancer imaging, molecular diagnosis and targeted therapy. The basic rationale is that nanometer-sized particles, such as biodegradable micelles, semiconductor quantum dots and iron oxide nanocrystals, have functional or structural properties that are not available from either molecular or macroscopic agents. When linked with biotargeting ligands, such as monoclonal antibodies, peptides or small molecules, these nanoparticles are used to target malignant tumors with high affinity and specificity. In the ‘mesoscopic’ size range of 5–100 nm in diameter, nanoparticles also have large surface areas and functional groups for conjugating to multiple diagnostic (e.g., optical, radioisotopic or magnetic) and therapeutic (e.g., anticancer) agents. Recent advances have led to multifunctional nanoparticle probes for molecular and cellular imaging, nanoparticle drugs for targeted therapy, and integrated nanodevices for early cancer detection and screening. These developments have opened exciting opportunities for personalized oncology in which cancer detection, diagnosis and therapy are tailored to each individual’s molecular profile, and also for predictive oncology, in which genetic/molecular information is used to predict tumor development, progression and clinical outcome.
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