Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Rev Mater. 2017;2. pii: 17024. doi: 10.1038/natrevmats.2017.24. Epub 2017 May 9.

Rethinking cancer nanotheranostics.

Chen H1,2,3, Zhang W2, Zhu G4, Xie J2,3, Chen X4.

Author information

Center for Molecular Imaging and Translational Medicine, State Key Laboratory of Molecular Vaccinology and Molecular Diagnostics, School of Public Health, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361102, China.
Department of Chemistry, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602, USA.
Bio-imaging Research Center, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602, USA.
Laboratory of Molecular Imaging and Nanomedicine, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Advances in nanoparticle synthesis and engineering have produced nanoscale agents affording both therapeutic and diagnostic functions that are often referred to by the portmanteau 'nanotheranostics'. The field is associated with many applications in the clinic, especially in cancer management. These include patient stratification, drug-release monitoring, imaging-guided focal therapy and post-treatment response monitoring. Recent advances in nanotheranostics have expanded this notion and enabled the characterization of individual tumours, the prediction of nanoparticle-tumour interactions, and the creation of tailor-designed nanomedicines for individualized treatment. Some of these applications require breaking the dogma that a nanotheranostic must combine both therapeutic and diagnostic agents within a single, physical entity; instead, it can be a general approach in which diagnosis and therapy are interwoven to solve clinical issues and improve treatment outcomes. In this Review, we describe the evolution and state of the art of cancer nanotheranostics, with an emphasis on clinical impact and translation.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center