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Ther Deliv. 2012 Apr;3(4):457-78.

Size matters: gold nanoparticles in targeted cancer drug delivery.

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  • 1The David H Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


Cancer is the current leading cause of death worldwide, responsible for approximately one quarter of all deaths in the USA and UK. Nanotechnologies provide tremendous opportunities for multimodal, site-specific drug delivery to these disease sites and Au nanoparticles further offer a particularly unique set of physical, chemical and photonic properties with which to do so. This review will highlight some recent advances, by our laboratory and others, in the use of Au nanoparticles for systemic drug delivery to these malignancies and will also provide insights into their rational design, synthesis, physiological properties and clinical/preclinical applications, as well as strategies and challenges toward the clinical implementation of these constructs moving forward.

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