Cancer represents a group of heterogeneous diseases characterized by uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells, ultimately leading to death. Nanomedicine plays a significant role in the development of nanodrugs, nanodevices, drug delivery systems and nanocarriers. Some of the major issues in the treatment of cancer are multidrug resistance (MDR), narrow therapeutic window and undesired side effects of available anticancer drugs and the limitations of anticancer drugs. Several nanosystems being utilized for detection, diagnosis and treatment such as theranostic carriers, liposomes, carbon nanotubes, quantum dots, polymeric micelles, dendrimers and metallic nanoparticles. However, nonbiodegradable nanoparticles causes high tissue accumulation and leads to toxicity. MDR is considered a major impediment to cancer treatment due to metastatic tumors that develop resistance to chemotherapy. MDR contributes to the failure of chemotherapies in various cancers, including breast, ovarian, lung, gastrointestinal and hematological malignancies. Moreover, the therapeutic efficiency of anticancer drugs or nanoparticles (NPs) used alone is less than that of the combination of NPs and anticancer drugs. Combination therapy has long been adopted as the standard first-line treatment of several malignancies to improve the clinical outcome. Combination therapy with anticancer drugs has been shown to generally induce synergistic drug actions and deter the onset of drug resistance. Therefore, this review is designed to report and analyze the recent progress made to address combination therapy using NPs and anticancer drugs. We first provide a comprehensive overview of the angiogenesis and of the different types of NPs currently used in treatments of cancer; those emphasized in this review are liposomes, polymeric NPs, polymeric micelles (PMs), dendrimers, carbon NPs, nanodiamond (ND), fullerenes, carbon nanotubes (CNTs), graphene oxide (GO), GO nanocomposites and metallic NPs used for combination therapy with various anticancer agents. Nanotechnology has provided the convenient tools for combination therapy. However, for clinical translation, we need continued improvements in the field of nanotechnology.
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