Now here is an interesting Open Access review paper all about the current utilization of nano-technology in the context of cancer research. Oh and as a side note, least you wonder, an “Open Access” research paper is simply one that permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited … sort of like open-source software … you can gain full access to it without mortgaging your life away to a peer-review journal.
Anyway, the paper in question is all about “nanooncology” … the practical application of Nanobiotechnology to the management of Cancer.
The paper’s abstract reads …
Nanooncology, the application of nanobiotechnology to the management of cancer, is currently the most important chapter of nanomedicine. Nanobiotechnology has refined and extended the limits of molecular diagnosis of cancer, for example, through the use of gold nanoparticles and quantum dots. Nanobiotechnology has also improved the discovery of cancer biomarkers, one such example being the sensitive detection of multiple protein biomarkers by nanobiosensors. Magnetic nanoparticles can capture circulating tumor cells in the bloodstream followed by rapid photoacoustic detection. Nanoparticles enable targeted drug delivery in cancer that increases efficacy and decreases adverse effects through reducing the dosage of anticancer drugs administered. Nanoparticulate anticancer drugs can cross some of the biological barriers and achieve therapeutic concentrations in tumor and spare the surrounding normal tissues from toxic effects. Nanoparticle constructs facilitate the delivery of various forms of energy for noninvasive thermal destruction of surgically inaccessible malignant tumors. Nanoparticle-based optical imaging of tumors as well as contrast agents to enhance detection of tumors by magnetic resonance imaging can be combined with delivery of therapeutic agents for cancer. Monoclonal antibody nanoparticle complexes are under investigation for diagnosis as well as targeted delivery of cancer therapy. Nanoparticle-based chemotherapeutic agents are already on the market, and several are in clinical trials. Personalization of cancer therapies is based on a better understanding of the disease at the molecular level, which is facilitated by nanobiotechnology. Nanobiotechnology will facilitate the combination of diagnostics with therapeutics, which is an important feature of a personalized medicine approach to cancer.
To read the paper itself, click here.
What makes this interesting is that while its still early days, it is already showing signs of the impact this will all have on health-care, for both diagnosis and also drug delivery. Longer term we will see the development of nanoscale robots, nanobots, for navigating the human body to detect as well as treat various diseases, and cell surgery using nanodevices and nanolasers