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Advances and challenges in precise nanomedicine for intelligent therapy of cancer

Science China Press


IMAGE: (a) Schematic illustration of precise nanomedicine for intelligent therapy of cancer; (b) various nanoparticles for intelligent therapy of cancer discussed in this review. view more 

Credit: ©Science China Press

Cancer is a leading cause of mortality worldwide, and it is estimated that more than 21.0 million people may suffer from cancer by the year of 2030. Many efforts have been made to develop efficient approaches to diagnose and treat cancer. To date, a variety of therapeutic regimes including chemotherapy, molecularly targeted therapy, gene therapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy, phototherapy, and embolotherapy have been extensively applied to treat cancers in clinics. To improve the clinical performances with reduced adverse side effects, the nanomedicine as an emerging strategy has recently been explored to provide an innovative diagnostic or therapeutic regime towards precise cancer therapy, as evidenced by successful developments of commercial products such as Abraxane and considerable formulations in clinical trials.

In a review recently published in Science China Chemistry, 20 Chinese professors, including Prof. Yuliang Zhao from the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, Prof. Weihong Tan from Hunan University, and Prof. Xi Zhang from Tsinghua University, introduce the latest advances in precise nanomedicine for intelligent therapy of cancer (Scheme 1).

They especially highlight such emerging strategies as metallofullerenol nanoparticles, supramolecular chemo-therapy, and DNA nanorobot, and explore how to adequately understand the structure-function relationship of these nanoparticles in terms of cancer imaging, therapeutic applications, and nanotoxicity. They also discuss the challenge and outlook of some scientific and engineering issues.


This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (11621505, 11435002, 31671016).

See the review: Chen H, Gu Z, An H, Chen C, Chen J, Cui R, Chen S, Chen W, Chen X, Chen X, Chen Z, Ding B, Dong Q, Fan Q, Fu T, Hou D, Jiang Q, Ke H, Jiang X, Liu G, Li S, Li T, Liu Z, Nie G, Ovais M, Pang D, Qiu N, Shen Y, Tian H, Wang C, Wang H, Wang Z, Xu H, Xu JF, Yang X, Zhu S, Zheng X, Zhang X, Zhao Y, Tan W, Zhang X, Zhao Y. Precise nanomedicine for intelligent therapy of cancer. Sci China Chem, 2018, 61: 1503-1552,

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