Cancer research and therapy: Where are we today?

Sampada Sawant, Ranjita Shegokar


Till date scientists are struggling to understand the complete mechanism of carcinogenesis. In future, the real time detection of cancer may help scientists to identify some of the complicated biological mechanisms. Certain special features of cancer cells enable researchers to deliver the drug or to develop the right drug therapy. These cell properties include over expression or over activity in uptake of certain nutrients e.g. folic acid and increased permeability. Listed properties might vary depending upon the type of cancer and can be fully exploited by using nanoparticles either to detect the site of cancer or to direct the drug at the affected site. Product approach like drug conjugates, complexes serves as a good platform to solve issues like solubility, toxicity, poor penetration and stability related to cancer drugs. Beside this, several drug delivery platforms are under development by researchers in academia as well as in industry to deliver therapeutic molecules and new chemical entities to the targeted site in body. Amongst them, nanotechnology both at molecular and supramolecular level is a leading platform and can help to image, detect and treat cancer. Surface modification of nanoparticles by coating or anchoring their surface with special markers, materials, peptide, proteins, antibodies or antigens add extra feature and thereby can enhance the effectiveness. These treatments can be used individually or in combined form. In this review, advances on nanotechnological platform are discussed together with some assisting techniques like magnetic field, photo or light field, sonic rays are touched upon. New biological therapies that are advancing in this direction include the antisense therapy, cell therapy, gene therapy, radiation therapy and SiRNA interfaces which are discussed in brief in this article. This article gives short overview on use of complementary and alternative medicine for treatment of cancer such as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Ayurveda to avoid toxic effects of synthetic drugs.


Cancer Therapy; Nanoparticles; Targeting Drugs; Surface Modification; Gene Therapy; Vaccines; Herbal Actives; Personalized Medicine

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