Nanotechnology in the treatment of cancer

  • Bojana Mirković
  • Tamara Lah Turnšek
  • Janko Kos


Background: Chemotherapy can induce severe side ef ects in patients due to nonselective activity towards healthy cells during the treatment of cancer. h is can lead to an alteration of the dosage regimen and in some cases to premature cancelation of chemotherapy, which reduces its therapeutic ef ect and prolongs the treatment period. Adverse side ef ects can also inl uence the patient’s quality of life during and at er the treatment. Inclusion of anti-tumour drugs in nanocarrier systems can reduce the adverse side ef ects by passive and/or active targeting of tumour cells. Conclusions: Nanocarrier systems achieve passive targeting of tumours through enhanced permeability and retention ef ect (EPR ef ect), which is mainly the result of leakiness of tumour vasculature. Furthermore, active targeting of tumour cells can be achieved through the conjugation of targeting ligands to the surface of nanoparticles, which selectively bind antigens or receptors overexpressed on the surface of tumour cells. In this way, the interaction between healthy tissue and anti-tumour drugs is reduced. Consequently, anti-tumour drugs formulated in nanocarriers have less side-ef ects and are safer in comparison with a free drug, thus enabling higher doses and better ei cay of anti-tumour therapy. To date, European Medicines Agency (EMEA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved nine nanocarrier-based medicines for the treatment of cancer. h e safety of nanopar- ticles is yet to be fully explored. However, their toxicity is known to be enhanced with reactive oxygen species, which are associated with inl ammation.


Download data is not yet available.
How to Cite
Mirković B, Lah Turnšek T, Kos J. Nanotechnology in the treatment of cancer. ZdravVestn [Internet]. 1Feb.2010 [cited 7Apr.2020];79(2). Available from:

Most read articles by the same author(s)