Research Topic

Novel Approaches Aiming to Overcome Current Nanomedicine Limitations in Cancer Therapy

About this Research Topic

In recent decades, a series of nanotechnology-based therapeutics and imaging agents were tested in preclinical and clinical studies relating to cancer. Many promising formulations were developed, aiming to increase therapeutic efficacy by exploiting the unique possibility offered by nanomedicines. Examples of important achievements, obtained by introducing these systems, include the possibility to control vector features, influencing interplay with biological systems, and increasing drug accumulation at the tumor site.

Some of the more promising technologies discovered were approved for clinical application, positively influencing the therapeutic efficacy of the treatments when compared to the free drug counterparts. Despite this, some limits related to the use of these systems still remain only partially solved. The growing interest in researching novel approaches aiming to face these challenges and to refine the formulation design could possibly impact on both the efficiency and application of nanosystems.

Despite the considerable improvements made in recent years in developing efficient anticancer nanomedicines, some challenges still remains not completely addressed. Finding innovative strategies to refine the use of nanoformulations is strictly necessary to fully exploit their potential.

New solutions to partially solved problems are specifically required. This mainly applies to the negotiation of biological barriers the nanomedicines encounter during their route to the target. Crossing tumor endothelium for example, might not occur in sufficient extent, due to intrinsic features of some tumors. Tumor targeting might reveal not completely functional, being limited by the formation of a protein corona on particle surface, physically covering molecules deputed to targeting. Mononuclear phagocytic system uptake a considerable fraction of nanotherapeutics generating off target effects. The choose of material composing formulations designed for preclinical studies not always respect biocompatibility, with consequent risk of toxic and/or immune-toxic effects. Additionally, for those anticancer therapeutics relying on the cytosolic delivery of nucleic acids or other drugs, the endosomal escape is often suboptimal. Small refinements on these well recognized and characterized aspects have the potential to turn into big differences in term of therapeutic efficiency.

This Research Topic will collect original articles and reviews in which authors propose novel strategies for improving nanoparticles performances in cancer treatment. Particular relevance will be given to articles centered on the following themes:

• Nanotechnologies actively able to overcome tumor endothelial barrier or to deposit onto tumor endothelium and release their payload thereof
• Nanotechnologies or strategies allowing the vectors to more efficiently escape from mononuclear phagocytic system uptake
• Innovative tumor targeting strategies
• Anticancer nanotechnologies presenting minimal toxicity associated to the vector itself (this also applies to immune toxicity)
• Nanotechnologies and strategies boosting the cytosolic delivery of nucleic acids and drugs (particular attention will be given to the cytosolic delivery of nucleic acids)


Keywords: Biological barriers, Nanomedicines, Cancer, Phagocytosis, Tumor Endothelium, Active Targeting, Co-Delivery, Endosomal Escape


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.

In recent decades, a series of nanotechnology-based therapeutics and imaging agents were tested in preclinical and clinical studies relating to cancer. Many promising formulations were developed, aiming to increase therapeutic efficacy by exploiting the unique possibility offered by nanomedicines. Examples of important achievements, obtained by introducing these systems, include the possibility to control vector features, influencing interplay with biological systems, and increasing drug accumulation at the tumor site.

Some of the more promising technologies discovered were approved for clinical application, positively influencing the therapeutic efficacy of the treatments when compared to the free drug counterparts. Despite this, some limits related to the use of these systems still remain only partially solved. The growing interest in researching novel approaches aiming to face these challenges and to refine the formulation design could possibly impact on both the efficiency and application of nanosystems.

Despite the considerable improvements made in recent years in developing efficient anticancer nanomedicines, some challenges still remains not completely addressed. Finding innovative strategies to refine the use of nanoformulations is strictly necessary to fully exploit their potential.

New solutions to partially solved problems are specifically required. This mainly applies to the negotiation of biological barriers the nanomedicines encounter during their route to the target. Crossing tumor endothelium for example, might not occur in sufficient extent, due to intrinsic features of some tumors. Tumor targeting might reveal not completely functional, being limited by the formation of a protein corona on particle surface, physically covering molecules deputed to targeting. Mononuclear phagocytic system uptake a considerable fraction of nanotherapeutics generating off target effects. The choose of material composing formulations designed for preclinical studies not always respect biocompatibility, with consequent risk of toxic and/or immune-toxic effects. Additionally, for those anticancer therapeutics relying on the cytosolic delivery of nucleic acids or other drugs, the endosomal escape is often suboptimal. Small refinements on these well recognized and characterized aspects have the potential to turn into big differences in term of therapeutic efficiency.

This Research Topic will collect original articles and reviews in which authors propose novel strategies for improving nanoparticles performances in cancer treatment. Particular relevance will be given to articles centered on the following themes:

• Nanotechnologies actively able to overcome tumor endothelial barrier or to deposit onto tumor endothelium and release their payload thereof
• Nanotechnologies or strategies allowing the vectors to more efficiently escape from mononuclear phagocytic system uptake
• Innovative tumor targeting strategies
• Anticancer nanotechnologies presenting minimal toxicity associated to the vector itself (this also applies to immune toxicity)
• Nanotechnologies and strategies boosting the cytosolic delivery of nucleic acids and drugs (particular attention will be given to the cytosolic delivery of nucleic acids)


Keywords: Biological barriers, Nanomedicines, Cancer, Phagocytosis, Tumor Endothelium, Active Targeting, Co-Delivery, Endosomal Escape


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.

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Submission Deadlines

20 December 2021 Abstract
29 April 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

20 December 2021 Abstract
29 April 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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