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Pharmaceutics 2011, 3(1), 34-52; doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics3010034

Nano Delivers Big: Designing Molecular Missiles for Cancer Therapeutics

1
Oral and Pharyngeal Cancer Branch, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
2
Laboratory of Molecular Imaging and Nanomedicine, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
3
Department of Cell Biology, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT 06032, USA
4
Institute of Materials Science, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, USA
5
Department of Chemistry, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 December 2010 / Revised: 6 January 2011 / Accepted: 11 January 2011 / Published: 13 January 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery)

Abstract

Current first-line treatments for most cancers feature a short-list of highly potent and often target-blind interventions, including chemotherapy, radiation, and surgical excision. These treatments wreak considerable havoc upon non-cancerous tissue and organs, resulting in deleterious and sometimes fatal side effects for the patient. In response, this past decade has witnessed the robust emergence of nanoparticles and, more relevantly, nanoparticle drug delivery systems (DDS), widely touted as the panacea of cancer therapeutics. While not a cure, nanoparticle DDS can successfully negotiate the clinical payoff between drug dosage and side effects by encompassing target-specific drug delivery strategies. The expanding library of nanoparticles includes lipoproteins, liposomes, dendrimers, polymers, metal and metal oxide nano-spheres and -rods, and carbon nanotubes, so do the modes of delivery. Importantly, however, the pharmaco-dynamics and –kinetics of these nano-complexes remain an urgent issue and a serious bottleneck in the transition from bench to bedside. This review addresses the rise of nanoparticle DDS platforms for cancer and explores concepts of gene/drug delivery and cytotoxicity in pre-clinical and clinical contexts.
Keywords: nano-material; cancer; drug delivery; nano-toxicity; carbon nanotube, siRNA; gene delivery nano-material; cancer; drug delivery; nano-toxicity; carbon nanotube, siRNA; gene delivery
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Patel, S.; Bhirde, A.A.; Rusling, J.F.; Chen, X.; Gutkind, J.S.; Patel, V. Nano Delivers Big: Designing Molecular Missiles for Cancer Therapeutics. Pharmaceutics 2011, 3, 34-52.

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