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Nanomedicine (Lond). 2015 Jan;10(1):143-60. doi: 10.2217/nnm.14.154.

Delivery of therapeutics using nanocarriers for targeting cancer cells and cancer stem cells.

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Institute of Bioengineering & Nanotechnology, 31 Biopolis Way, The Nanos, Singapore 138669, Singapore.


Development of cancer resistance, cancer relapse and metastasis are attributed to the presence of cancer stem cells (CSCs). Eradication of this subpopulation has been shown to increase life expectancy of patients. Since the discovery of CSCs a decade ago, several strategies have been devised to specifically target them but with limited success. Nanocarriers have recently been employed to deliver anti-CSC therapeutics for reducing the population of CSCs at the tumor site with great success. This review discusses the different therapeutic strategies that have been employed using nanocarriers, their advantages, success in targeting CSCs and the challenges that are to be overcome. Exploiting this new modality of cancer treatment in the coming decade may improve outcomes profoundly with promise of effective treatment response and reducing relapse and metastasis.


cancer stem cells; cancer therapy; drug delivery; gene delivery; nanocarriers; protein delivery

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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