Ortensia Ilaria Parisi, Luca Scrivano, Maria Stefania Sinicropi, Nevio Picci and Francesco Puoci Pages 754 - 761 ( 8 )
Nanomedicine can be defined as the medical application of molecular nanotechnology and it plays a key role and pharmaceutical research and development, especially related to cancer prevention, monitoring, diagnosis and treatment. In this context, nanomaterials are attracting significant research interest due to their abilities to stay in the blood for long time, accumulate in pathological sites including tumors or inflammatory areas via the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect, and facilitate targeted delivery of specific therapeutic agents. In the last decades, considerable attention was attracted by the development of nano-sized carriers, based on natural or synthetic polymers, able to provide the controlled release of anticancer drugs in the aim to overcome the drawbacks associated to the conventional chemotherapy. Furthermore, when loaded with imaging agents, this kind of systems offers the opportunity to exploit optical or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in cancer diagnosis. Polymeric materials are characterized by several functionalities where both therapeutic and imaging components, and also targeting moieties, can be attached for simultaneous targeted therapy and imaging providing innovative platforms defined as theranostic agents with a great potential in monitoring and treatment of cancer.
Cancer therapy, Diagnostics, Nanomaterials, Polymer-Based Materials, Theranostics.
Department of Pharmacy, Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Calabria, 87036 Rende (CS), Italy.