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Nano Rev. 2012;3. doi: 10.3402/nano.v3i0.18496. Epub 2012 Dec 7.

Utilizing the folate receptor for active targeting of cancer nanotherapeutics.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.


The development of specialized nanoparticles for use in the detection and treatment of cancer is increasing. Methods are being proposed and tested that could target treatments more directly to cancer cells, which could lead to higher efficacy and reduced toxicity, possibly even eliminating the adverse effects of damage to the immune system and the loss of quick replicating cells. In this mini-review we focus on recent studies that employ folate nanoconjugates to target the folate receptor. Folate receptors are highly overexpressed on the surface of many tumor types. This expression can be exploited to target imaging molecules and therapeutic compounds directly to cancerous tissues.


99mTc-EC20; cancer; conjugates; doxorubicin; folate; folate receptor; folic acid; gold; nanoaggregates; nanotechnology

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