1. Department of Oncology, Affiliated Dongyang People's Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Dongyang, Zhejiang 322100,China
2. Department of Neurosurgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325000, China
3. Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, Texas 76107, USA
Cancer is a leading cause of death and poor quality of life globally. Even though several strategies are devised to reduce deaths, reduce chronic pain and improve the quality of life, there remains a shortfall in the adequacies of these cancer therapies. Among the cardinal steps towards ensuring optimal cancer treatment are early detection of cancer cells and drug application with high specificity to reduce toxicities. Due to increased systemic toxicities and refractoriness with conventional cancer diagnostic and therapeutic tools, other strategies including nanotechnology are being employed to improve diagnosis and mitigate disease severity. Over the years, immunotherapeutic agents based on nanotechnology have been used for several cancer types to reduce the invasiveness of cancerous cells while sparing healthy cells at the target site. Nanomaterials including carbon nanotubes, polymeric micelles and liposomes have been used in cancer drug design where they have shown considerable pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic benefits in cancer diagnosis and treatment. In this review, we outline the commonly used nanomaterials which are employed in cancer diagnosis and therapy. We have highlighted the suitability of these nanomaterials for cancer management based on their physicochemical and biological properties. We further reviewed the challenges that are associated with the various nanomaterials which limit their uses and hamper their translatability into the clinical setting in certain cancer types.
Keywords: nanomaterials, nanotechnology, cancer, diagnosis, treatment