Nanoparticle-mediated light-activated therapies, such as photodynamic therapy and photothermal therapy, are earnestly being viewed as efficient interventional strategies against several cancer types. Theranostics is a key hallmark of cancer nanomedicine since it allows diagnosis and therapy of both primary and metastatic cancer using a single nanoprobe. Advanced in vivo diagnostic imaging using theranostic nanoparticles not only provides precise information about the location of tumor/s but also outlines the narrow time window corresponding to the maximum tumor-specific drug accumulation. Such information plays a critical role in guiding light-activated therapies with high spatio-temporal accuracy. Furthermore, theranostics facilitates monitoring the progression of therapy in real time. Herein, we provide a general review of the application of theranostic nanoparticles for in vivo image-guided light-activated therapy in cancer. The imaging modalities considered here include fluorescence imaging, photoacoustic imaging, thermal imaging, magnetic resonance imaging, X-ray computed tomography, positron emission tomography, and single-photon emission computed tomography. The review concludes with a brief discussion about the broad scope of theranostic light-activated nanomedicine.
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