Cancer is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Advances in nanotechnology have contributed to the development of nanoparticles used for medical applications and optimized therapy. Due to unique features of nanoparticles, like a large surface area, structural properties, and a long circulation time, many nanomedicines have been prepared that have the potential to revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases. Nanomedicines in cancer were designed and developed to overcome the limitations of the conventional chemotherapeutic agents that include unfavorable bio-distribution upon intravenous administration, rapid clearance from the circulation, small fraction of the drug reaching the tumor site, and development of multi drug resistance. Many strategies that are employed in the development of nanomedicines include passive drug targeting, active drug targeting, triggered drug delivery, multi stage drug delivery and nano-hybrids. In-spite of many advances in the strategies for the development of various formulations of nanomedicines, several issues need to be addressed before translation from preclinical to clinical development, including the physicochemical characteristics of nanoparticles that dictate the in vivo efficacy, evading particle clearance mechanisms, and controlling drug release. However, these progress made in the development of nanomedicine formulations by various technologies, strongly suggests the potential role of nanomedicines in the improvement of cancer therapeutics.
Key words:Nanomedicines, nanotechnology, nanohybrids, nanoparticles, targeted drug delivery, multidrug resistance, pluronics, MDR modulators, siRNA, cancer therapeutics