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Expert Opin Drug Deliv. 2012 Oct;9(10):1225-43. Epub 2012 Aug 16.

Gold nanoparticles in theranostic oncology: current state-of-the-art.

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  • 1Utrecht University, Department of Pharmaceutics, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiteitsweg 99, 3584 CG, Utrecht, The Netherlands.



In recent years, extensive multidisciplinary investigations have been carried out in the area of cancer nanotechnology. Gold nanoparticles (GNPs) have emerged as promising carrier for delivery of various pay-loads into their target. In view of their unique physicochemical and optical properties, GNPs have been exploited for multimodality imaging, tumor targeting, and as transporter of various therapeutics. Additionally, GNPs have been used as photothermal therapeutics against cancer.


This review will focus on recent progress in the field of gold nanomaterials in cancer therapy and diagnosis. Moreover, concern about the toxicity of gold nanomaterials is addressed.


GNPs present versatile scaffolds for efficient delivery of cancer chemotherapeutics. Tuneable chemistry of the GNPs contributes to their ever increasing use in oncology research. The promises of a functional cancer therapy using GNPs have been extensively demonstrated, although the materials are still in their infancy stage and not surfaced to meet clinical standards.

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