Research Topic

Nanoparticles in Cancer Therapy: Novel Concepts, Mechanisms and Applications

About this Research Topic

Although cancer survival rates have remarkably increased over the past 50 years, those in late stage cancers remain low such as glioma, pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, etc. Global researchers are working hard to find cures for these cancers. Among several emerged technologies over the past two decades (e.g. immunotherapy, cell therapy, gene editing, etc.), application of nanoparticles in treatment and research of cancer has surged and gained great attention due to their multifunctionality and improvement on cancer therapy.

Nanoparticles possess several advantages such as combination therapy, tumor targeting, controlled release, long circulation, reduced toxicity and concurrent live imaging. Nanoparticles, constructed from lipids, proteins, polymers (e.g. PLGA), drug molecules or inorganic materials (e.g. silver, gold, carbon, etc.) are used as either drug carriers or inherently active agents. As drug carriers, nanoparticles are utilized on passive targeting of solid tumors through the EPR effect or active targeting through tumor specific ligands (e.g. ligands recognizing HER2, EGFR, FR, MMP-2, etc.).

Compared to small molecule therapeutics, nanoparticle interacts with cells differently due to its three-dimensional architecture. Certain cellular events can be regulated with therapeutic nanoparticles as an outcome of combined effects of nanocarrier and its therapeutic payloads. Some nanoparticles are intrinsically active on cancer cells by interacting with specific biomolecules. Through regulating cellular events at transcriptional, translational and post-translational levels, therapeutic nanoparticles affect proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, autophagy, etc., on both cancer cells and healthy cells upon contact. These outcomes determine a nanoparticle’s efficacy as well as toxicity. Nanoparticles may activate innate and/or adaptive immune systems and trigger anti-cancer immune response. Furthermore, targeting cancer stem-like cells by nanoparticles helps eliminate drug resistance and tumor recurrence, or prevent metastasis. Recently, novel cancer therapeutic approaches emerged such as gene editing, CAR-T therapy, exosomes, etc. Nanomedicine has expanded to these area for exploration of new treatments.

As nanoparticles’ biological mechanisms are complex, more pharmacological understandings are imperatively needed for development of effective and safe nanomedicine. In this rapidly growing field, the term “nanopharmacology” is created for investigating interaction of a nanomedicine with living systems at the nanoscale level.

This Research Topic aims to provide a platform for new studies or summaries of novel concepts, mechanisms and applications in the field of nanopharmacology. Topics may include but are not limited to:
• Novel nanotherapeutic concepts,
• Drug delivery by new therapeutic nanoparticles,
• Mechanistic study of nanoparticle-cell interactions (e.g. proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, autophagy, cellular signaling pathways, genomic/proteomic/metabonomic profiling, etc.),
• Nanomedicine for gene editing, immunotherapy, or stem-cell therapy,
• Pharmacokinetics and particokinetics of nanomedicine,
• Multifunctional/combinatorial nanotherapeutics for improved treatment of cancer and prevention of metastasis.
• Toxicity evaluation of nanomedicine

Both original research articles and review articles are welcome.


Keywords: nanoparticles, nanomedicine, cancer, nanopharmacology, drug delivery


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.

Although cancer survival rates have remarkably increased over the past 50 years, those in late stage cancers remain low such as glioma, pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, etc. Global researchers are working hard to find cures for these cancers. Among several emerged technologies over the past two decades (e.g. immunotherapy, cell therapy, gene editing, etc.), application of nanoparticles in treatment and research of cancer has surged and gained great attention due to their multifunctionality and improvement on cancer therapy.

Nanoparticles possess several advantages such as combination therapy, tumor targeting, controlled release, long circulation, reduced toxicity and concurrent live imaging. Nanoparticles, constructed from lipids, proteins, polymers (e.g. PLGA), drug molecules or inorganic materials (e.g. silver, gold, carbon, etc.) are used as either drug carriers or inherently active agents. As drug carriers, nanoparticles are utilized on passive targeting of solid tumors through the EPR effect or active targeting through tumor specific ligands (e.g. ligands recognizing HER2, EGFR, FR, MMP-2, etc.).

Compared to small molecule therapeutics, nanoparticle interacts with cells differently due to its three-dimensional architecture. Certain cellular events can be regulated with therapeutic nanoparticles as an outcome of combined effects of nanocarrier and its therapeutic payloads. Some nanoparticles are intrinsically active on cancer cells by interacting with specific biomolecules. Through regulating cellular events at transcriptional, translational and post-translational levels, therapeutic nanoparticles affect proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, autophagy, etc., on both cancer cells and healthy cells upon contact. These outcomes determine a nanoparticle’s efficacy as well as toxicity. Nanoparticles may activate innate and/or adaptive immune systems and trigger anti-cancer immune response. Furthermore, targeting cancer stem-like cells by nanoparticles helps eliminate drug resistance and tumor recurrence, or prevent metastasis. Recently, novel cancer therapeutic approaches emerged such as gene editing, CAR-T therapy, exosomes, etc. Nanomedicine has expanded to these area for exploration of new treatments.

As nanoparticles’ biological mechanisms are complex, more pharmacological understandings are imperatively needed for development of effective and safe nanomedicine. In this rapidly growing field, the term “nanopharmacology” is created for investigating interaction of a nanomedicine with living systems at the nanoscale level.

This Research Topic aims to provide a platform for new studies or summaries of novel concepts, mechanisms and applications in the field of nanopharmacology. Topics may include but are not limited to:
• Novel nanotherapeutic concepts,
• Drug delivery by new therapeutic nanoparticles,
• Mechanistic study of nanoparticle-cell interactions (e.g. proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, autophagy, cellular signaling pathways, genomic/proteomic/metabonomic profiling, etc.),
• Nanomedicine for gene editing, immunotherapy, or stem-cell therapy,
• Pharmacokinetics and particokinetics of nanomedicine,
• Multifunctional/combinatorial nanotherapeutics for improved treatment of cancer and prevention of metastasis.
• Toxicity evaluation of nanomedicine

Both original research articles and review articles are welcome.


Keywords: nanoparticles, nanomedicine, cancer, nanopharmacology, drug delivery


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

30 April 2018 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

30 April 2018 Manuscript

Participating Journals

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

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