About this Research Topic
According to the World Health Organization, cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020. Between 30 and 50% of cancers can currently be prevented by avoiding risk factors (e.g., tobacco, alcohol, radiations) and implementing existing evidence-based prevention strategies. The cancer burden can also be reduced through early detection and appropriate treatment and care of patients. Treatments usually include radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and/or surgery. The primary goal is generally to cure cancer or to considerably prolong life, while improving the patient's quality of life.
Due to increased systemic toxicities and refractoriness with conventional cancer diagnostic and therapeutic tools, other strategies are being employed to improve diagnosis and mitigate disease severity. Nanotechnology has led to several promising results with its applications in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, including drug delivery, gene therapy, detection and diagnosis, biomarker mapping, targeted therapy, and molecular imaging. Nanotechnology treatments based on nanoscale drug delivery systems can ensure precise cancerous tissue targeting, controlled pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, and minimal side effects.
The development of new drug therapies remains time-consuming and costly. Hence, new strategies, approaches, and technologies are still needed. In the quest for effective, selective and safe treatment options, repurposed drugs, newly synthesized drugs, and natural compounds are being explored. Unfortunately, of the pool of molecules of pharmaceutical interest, 90% have weak bioavailability due to low water solubility, poor absorption, and rapid metabolism. These problems can be tackled by using drug delivery approaches based on nanotechnologies, which can enhance bioavailability and thus therapeutic efficacy. Indeed, nanosystems, such as liposomes, polymeric or lipid nanoparticles, liquid crystals, etc, can provide cargo protection, modified pharmacokinetics and distribution, increased dose delivery to target sites, enhanced drug transport through biological membranes, and prolonged or controlled drug release, through different administration routes.
This Research Topic welcomes the submission of original research papers and reviews that present an overview of the current trends and applications of nanotechnologies for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Keywords: Antitumor drugs, Synthetic drugs, Natural compounds, Drug delivery, Vesicular systems, Nanoparticles, Nanoemulsions, Liquid crystals, Nanogels
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