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Curr Drug Targets. 2019 Mar 19. doi: 10.2174/1389450120666190319125734. [Epub ahead of print]

Nano Drug Delivery in Treatment of Oral Cancer, A Review of the Literature.

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Department of Pharmaceutics, University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Panjab University, Chandigarh. India.


Oral cancer (OC) is a serious and a growing problem which constitutes a huge burden on people in more and less economically developed countries alike. The scenario is clearly depicted from the increase in expected number of new cases in US diagnosed with OC from 49,670 people in 2016, to 49,750 cases in 2017. The situation is even more alarming in India, with 75,000 to 80,000 new cases being reported every year, thus making it the OC capital of the world. Leukoplakia, erythroplakia, oral lichen planus, oral submucous fibrosis, discoid lupus erythmatosus, hereditary disorders such as dyskeratosis congenital and epidermolisys bullosa are highlighted by WHO expert working group as the predisposing factors increasing the risk of OC. Consumption of tobacco and alcohol, genetic factors, and human papilloma virus are assigned as the factors contributing to the aetiology of OC. On the other hand, pathogenesis of OC involves not only apoptosis but also pain, inflammation and oxidative stress. Inspite of current treatment options (surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy), OC is often associated with recurrence and formation of secondary primary tumours resulting in poor overall survival rates (∼50%). Intervention of nano technology based drug delivery systems as therapeutics for cancers is often viewed as a cutting edge for technologists. Though ample literature on the usefulness of nano-coutured cancer therapeutics, rarely any product is in pipeline. Yet, despite all the hype about nanotechnology there are few ongoing trials. This review discusses the current and future trends of nano based drug delivery for treatment of OC.


Oral cancer; chemotherapy; epidemiology; nanotechnology.; pathogenesis

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