About this Research Topic
Tremendous efforts have been given towards cancer research in the past decades. In most cases, it is difficult to detect cancer at an early stage. Traditional chemotherapy or radiation therapy is seriously impeded by their low efficacy and adverse effects. In recent years, the advance of nanotechnology has boosted the development of nanomedicine in cancer diagnostics and treatment. To date, various nanomaterials have been designed for nanomedicine, such as polymer nanodrugs, metal-organic frameworks, inorganic nanocrystals, and organic semiconducting nanomaterials. Based on these nanomaterials, various nanoprobes and therapeutic nanoplatforms have been developed. Compared to traditional molecular agents, nanomedicine present longer circulation time, improved diagnostic sensitivity, and enhanced therapeutic efficacy. It is expected that nanomedicine could be a potential tool for cancer diagnosis and treatment.
However, the development of nanomedicine suffers from several challenges prior to their clinical applications. Most of the nanomaterials inserted into the bloodstream are prone to be cleared from blood by the immune system, giving rise to their poor delivery efficiency into tumors (usually less than 1%). Therefore, developing functional nanoplatforms with prolonged circulation time and high tumor-targeting ability is highly desired. Furthermore, cancer detection and imaging in an early stage are critical challenges for nanomedicine. It is difficult to detect cancer markers (e.g. proteins, genes, or cancer circulating cells), so nanoprobes with high sensitivity and selectivity are required. Moreover, future cancer detection and imaging should be combined with therapeutic process to conduct theranostics. To overcome tumor metastasis and drug resistance, it is highly desirable to develop functional nanomedicines with the combination of multiple therapeutic modalities, such as chemotherapy, photothermal therapy, photodynamic therapy, chemodynamic therapy, radiotherapy, starving therapy, and immunotherapy. Most nanomedicines are also composed of polymers or metals-containing nanomaterials. Their stability and degradability in biofluids should therefore be carefully evaluated before their administration to humans.
The current Research Topic aims to cover promising, recent, and novel research trends in nanomaterials for cancer diagnostics and therapy. Areas to be covered in this Research Topic may include, but are not limited to:
• Design and preparation of nanomedicine for cancer detection and imaging.
• Design and preparation of therapeutic nanoplatforms.
• Investigation of the interactions between nanomaterials and cancer cells to enhance tumor targeting delivery efficiency.
• Theranostic nanomedicines to conduct cancer therapy under the guidance of imaging.
• New therapeutic nanomedicines to overcome drug resistance, tumor metastasis and recurrence.
• Effects of physicochemical attributes of nanostructures on the biosafety of nanomaterials. Descriptive characterization studies and work solely reporting on toxicity do not fall within the scope of the journal.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.