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ACS Nano. 2018 Jan 23;12(1):24-43. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.7b05108. Epub 2017 Dec 22.

Nanotechnology Strategies To Advance Outcomes in Clinical Cancer Care.

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National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health , Bethesda, Maryland 20892, United States.
Department of Radiology and Molecular Pharmacology Program, Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research , New York, New York 10065, United States.
Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine , Saint Louis, Missouri 63108, United States.
Division of NanoMedicine, Department of Medicine, and California NanoSystems Institute, University of California , Los Angeles, California 90095, United States.
Department of Radiology and Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS), Stanford School of Medicine , Stanford, California 94305, United States.
Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill , Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, United States.
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Cornell University , Ithaca, New York 14843, United States.
Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine , Atlanta, Georgia 30322, United States.


Ongoing research into the application of nanotechnology for cancer treatment and diagnosis has demonstrated its advantages within contemporary oncology as well as its intrinsic limitations. The National Cancer Institute publishes the Cancer Nanotechnology Plan every 5 years since 2005. The most recent iteration helped codify the ongoing basic and translational efforts of the field and displayed its breadth with several evolving areas. From merely a technological perspective, this field has seen tremendous growth and success. However, an incomplete understanding of human cancer biology persists relative to the application of nanoscale materials within contemporary oncology. As such, this review presents several evolving areas in cancer nanotechnology in order to identify key clinical and biological challenges that need to be addressed to improve patient outcomes. From this clinical perspective, a sampling of the nano-enabled solutions attempting to overcome barriers faced by traditional therapeutics and diagnostics in the clinical setting are discussed. Finally, a strategic outlook of the future is discussed to highlight the need for next-generation cancer nanotechnology tools designed to address critical gaps in clinical cancer care.


Cancer Nanotechnology Plan; National Cancer Institute; alliance; biological barriers; cancer; image-guided surgery; immunotherapy; metastasis; nanotechnology; oncology; radiotherapy

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