The use of nanotechnology in cancer treatment offers some exciting possibilities, including the possibility of destroying cancer tumors with minimal damage to healthy tissue and organs, as well as the detection and elimination of cancer cells before they form tumors. Over the past decade, together with the improvement of traditional cancer treatments, conveniently designed (with respect to their size, shape, main material, and coating) and specifically targeted nanovehicles have been developed. Nano-sized carriers can be functionalized to recognize key structures expressed in cancer cells and/or their surrounding tissues. Recently, some more complex systems have been developed that exploit the human body's own communication systems to enhance their efficacy. Some of the newest nanoparticles have the capacity to not only serve as drug delivery systems for myriad molecules, but also operate as direct cancer treatment agents themselves, such as in thermal therapies.
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Last date updated on September, 2014