Cancers 2011, 3(1), 1081-1110; doi:10.3390/cancers3011081
Review

Gold Nanostructures as a Platform for Combinational Therapy in Future Cancer Therapeutics

1 Ontario Cancer Institute, Princess Margaret Hospital, University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada 2 Department of Radiation Physics, Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada 3 STTARR Innovation Centre, Toronto Medical Discovery Tower, Toronto, ON, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 December 2010; in revised form: 19 January 2011 / Accepted: 21 January 2011 / Published: 4 March 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnology and Cancer Therapeutics)
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Abstract: The field of nanotechnology is currently undergoing explosive development on many fronts. The technology is expected to generate innovations and play a critical role in cancer therapeutics. Among other nanoparticle (NP) systems, there has been tremendous progress made in the use of spherical gold NPs (GNPs), gold nanorods (GNRs), gold nanoshells (GNSs) and gold nanocages (GNCs) in cancer therapeutics. In treating cancer, radiation therapy and chemotherapy remain the most widely used treatment options and recent developments in cancer research show that the incorporation of gold nanostructures into these protocols has enhanced tumor cell killing. These nanostructures further provide strategies for better loading, targeting, and controlling the release of drugs to minimize the side effects of highly toxic anticancer drugs used in chemotherapy and photodynamic therapy. In addition, the heat generation capability of gold nanostructures upon exposure to UV or near infrared light is being used to damage tumor cells locally in photothermal therapy. Hence, gold nanostructures provide a versatile platform to integrate many therapeutic options leading to effective combinational therapy in the fight against cancer. In this review article, the recent progress in the development of gold-based NPs towards improved therapeutics will be discussed. A multifunctional platform based on gold nanostructures with targeting ligands, therapeutic molecules, and imaging contrast agents, holds an array of promising directions for cancer research.
Keywords: gold nanostructures; drug delivery; radiation therapy; photothermal therapy; photodynamic therapy; combinational therapy

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MDPI and ACS Style

Jelveh, S.; Chithrani, D.B. Gold Nanostructures as a Platform for Combinational Therapy in Future Cancer Therapeutics. Cancers 2011, 3, 1081-1110.

AMA Style

Jelveh S, Chithrani DB. Gold Nanostructures as a Platform for Combinational Therapy in Future Cancer Therapeutics. Cancers. 2011; 3(1):1081-1110.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jelveh, Salomeh; Chithrani, Devika B. 2011. "Gold Nanostructures as a Platform for Combinational Therapy in Future Cancer Therapeutics." Cancers 3, no. 1: 1081-1110.

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