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Application of Gold Nanoparticles for Targeted Therapy in Cancer

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Cancer is a major public health problem worldwide. Some of the key challenges in cancer are early detection, diagnosis, and targeted therapy. Most of the patients are usually diagnosed in the late stage of the disease causing immunity to therapeutic intervention. Another major challenge in the therapeutic intervention of cancer is the toxicity of the anti-cancer drugs. When administered, these drugs are not only toxic towards malignant cells, but also towards normal cells. Nanotechnology can play a pivotal role in changing the very foundation of cancer treatment and diagnosis. At the heart of the nanotechnology are the nanoparticles and they can be synthesized in different shapes and sizes with tailor able optoelectronic and physico-chemical properties. Due to very high surface area of these nanoparticles, a number of biomolecules can be loaded to create a nanobioconjugate with multifunctional capabilities. Such a bi-functional nanobioconjugate containing a targeting agent and a drug would lead to targeted delivery of the drug to the malignant cells with better therapeutic efficacy and with reduced systemic toxicity. In a similar fashion targeted delivery of an imaging agent could lead to early detection of cancer. The design and development of nanoparticles and its nanobioconjugates in conjunction with the development of genomics and proteomics to identify biomarkers raise exciting opportunities for personalized treatment. In this particular review, we have discussed application of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) in cancer and the current standing with respect to nanotechnology.
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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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  • Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology (JBN) is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal providing broad coverage in all research areas focused on the applications of nanotechnology in medicine, drug delivery systems, infectious disease, biomedical sciences, biotechnology, and all other related fields of life sciences.
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