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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(5), 1036;

Theranostic Probes for Targeting Tumor Microenvironment: An Overview

Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, 59 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 636921, Singapore
Centre for Pheromone Technology, Department of Animal Science, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli 620024, India
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jamal Zweit and Sundaresan Gobalakrishnan
Received: 16 April 2017 / Revised: 6 May 2017 / Accepted: 8 May 2017 / Published: 11 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Molecular Imaging in the Era of Precision Medicine)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1551 KB, uploaded 11 May 2017]   |  


Long gone is the time when tumors were thought to be insular masses of cells, residing independently at specific sites in an organ. Now, researchers gradually realize that tumors interact with the extracellular matrix (ECM), blood vessels, connective tissues, and immune cells in their environment, which is now known as the tumor microenvironment (TME). It has been found that the interactions between tumors and their surrounds promote tumor growth, invasion, and metastasis. The dynamics and diversity of TME cause the tumors to be heterogeneous and thus pose a challenge for cancer diagnosis, drug design, and therapy. As TME is significant in enhancing tumor progression, it is vital to identify the different components in the TME such as tumor vasculature, ECM, stromal cells, and the lymphatic system. This review explores how these significant factors in the TME, supply tumors with the required growth factors and signaling molecules to proliferate, invade, and metastasize. We also examine the development of TME-targeted nanotheranostics over the recent years for cancer therapy, diagnosis, and anticancer drug delivery systems. This review further discusses the limitations and future perspective of nanoparticle based theranostics when used in combination with current imaging modalities like Optical Imaging, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Nuclear Imaging (Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Single Photon Emission Computer Tomography (SPECT)). View Full-Text
Keywords: tumor microenvironment; nanoparticle; nanotheronostics; probe; imaging tumor microenvironment; nanoparticle; nanotheronostics; probe; imaging

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Sikkandhar, M.G.; Nedumaran, A.M.; Ravichandar, R.; Singh, S.; Santhakumar, I.; Goh, Z.C.; Mishra, S.; Archunan, G.; Gulyás, B.; Padmanabhan, P. Theranostic Probes for Targeting Tumor Microenvironment: An Overview. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 1036.

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