This review presents some common features of nanoparticles - activity, toxicity and biological activity. Humans are exposed to tiny particles via dust storms, volcanic ash, and other natural processes and the body systems are well adapted to protect from these potentially harmful intruders. Technological advancement has also changed the character of particulate pollution, increasing the proportion of nanometer-sized particles - “nanoparticles” and expanding the variety of chemical compositions. Studies have shown a strong correlation between particulate air pollution levels, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, various cancers, and mortality. Adverse effects of nanoparticles on human health depend on individual factors such as genetics and existing disease, as well as exposure, and nanoparticle chemistry, size, shape, agglomeration state, and electromagnetic properties. The key to understand the toxicity of nanoparticles is their size, smaller than cells and cellular organelles, which allows them to penetrate these basic biological structures, disrupting their normal function. Examples of toxic effects include tissue inflammation, and altered cellular redox balance toward oxidation, causing abnormal function or cell death. Some of these materials have desirable characteristics for industrial applications, as nanostructured materials often exhibit beneficial properties, from UV absorbance in sunscreen to oil-less lubrication of motors. In the sense of the huge surrounding positive and negative influence of known and unknown NP-impacts it seems very important to understand and forecast the processes in the body, due to the interaction between these two sides - organism. How nanoparticles can be used as drug delivery systems and imaging devices to increase the efficacy per dose of therapeutic or imaging contrast agents; how nanoparticles will be further developed to improve their functionality in cancer treatment and imaging? How reacts the immune system of the organism after introducing nanoparticles with the aim to defeat tumors? Here the aim was to discuss the right and wrong applications of NP and to answer to some of these questions. In the mean time there will appeare much more investigations because of the important application of the NP not only as drug delivery systems, but as diagnostics as well.
Current Cancer Drug Targets aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology, genomics and biochemistry of contemporary molecular drug targets involved in cancer, e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics on drug targets involved in cancer. As the discovery, identification, characterization and validation of novel human drug targets for anti-cancer drug discovery continues to grow; this journal has become essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.