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Nitric Oxide Releasing Nanomaterials for Cancer Treatment: Current Status and Perspectives

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Nitric oxide (NO) is known to have dichotomous effects on cancer biology, acting as a pro- or antineoplastic agent. Low concentrations of NO are reported to promote tumor growth, whereas high NO influx acts as a potent tumor repressor, leading to cytotoxicity and apoptosis. There is increasing interest in developing NO-releasing materials as potent tumoricidal agents in which high and localized concentrations of NO may be directly released in a sustained manner to the tumor site. Nanomaterials allied to NO donors have emerged as a promising strategy in cancer treatment. In this context, this review summarizes the roles of NO in cancer biology and highlights the therapeutic potential effects of NO-releasing nanomaterials based on polymeric nanoparticles, dendritic polymers, liposomes, silica nanoparticles, metallic nanoparticles and quantum dots in combating tumor cells.
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Keywords: Cancer; Cytotoxicity; Dendrimers; Diazeniumdiolates; Liposomes; Metallic nanoparticles; Nanomaterials; Nitric Oxide; Polymeric nanoparticles; Quantum dots; S-nitrosothiols; Silica nanoparticles

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2015

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