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Annu Rev Med. 2008;59:251-65.

Nanotechnology and cancer.

Author information

1
Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA. heath@caltech.edu

Abstract

The biological picture of cancer is rapidly advancing from models built from phenomenological descriptions to network models derived from systems biology, which can capture the evolving pathophysiology of the disease at the molecular level. The translation of this (still academic) picture into a clinically relevant framework can be enabling for the war on cancer, but it is a scientific and technological challenge. In this review, we discuss emerging in vitro diagnostic technologies and therapeutic approaches that are being developed to handle this challenge. Our discussion of in vitro diagnostics is guided by the theme of making large numbers of measurements accurately, sensitively, and at very low cost. We discuss diagnostic approaches based on microfluidics and nanotechnology. We then review the current state of the art of nanoparticle-based therapeutics that have reached the clinic. The goal of the presentation is to identify nanotherapeutic strategies that are designed to increase efficacy while simultaneously minimizing the toxic side effects commonly associated with cancer chemotherapies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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