So-called “nanotheranostic” agents are under development to simultaneously deliver diagnostic-imaging contrast material and antitumor therapeutic agents to cancer cells.10-12 Most nanopharmaceuticals require “substantial optimization” before they will be ready for prime time.13 For example, iron oxide nanoparticles are promising nanotheranostic agents under preclinical and clinical study, but immune interaction challenges remain.12
Other nano-oncology agents in development include metal nanoshells (eg, gold or titanium) that allow controlled release of chemotherapy agents, small interfering RNA (siRNA)-payload nanoparticles, and antibody-drug conjugates (nanoMAbs).14 But in this arena, too, challenges persist. Optimization of nanoconjugates includes controlling the precise size, shape, surface orientation, and number or density of ligands on nanoparticles, for example.15
Nanopharmaceuticals might come to hold an important place in multi-agent cancer treatment and its personalization. Cerulean Pharma Inc., which is developing CRLX101, has reported preclinical and early clinical efficacy data suggesting that this agent exhibits synergistic antitumor activity with antiangiogenic agents in renal cell carcinoma and ovarian cancer by reducing HIF-1-mediated tumor resistance to antiangiogenesis agents.16
Also in development are nanoparticles that will simultaneously deliver multiple anticancer agent payloads to tumor cells while exploiting synergies and helping to sidestep drug resistance.17 Researchers anticipate that, in the future, combinatorial nanopharmaceuticals might well expand the available options for personalized cancer treatment regimens, allowing clinicians to fine-tune combination treatments to the particular genetic vulnerabilities of a given tumor.13,17,18
- US National Nanotechnology Initiative. What is nanotechnology? http://www.nano.gov/nanotech-101/what/definition. Accessed February 18, 2014.
- Rink JS, Plebanek MP, Tripathy S, Thaxton CS. Update on current and potential nanoparticle cancer therapies. Curr Opin Oncol. 2013;25(6):646-651.
- Fanciullino R, Ciccolini J, Milano G. Challenges, expectations and limits for nanoparticles-based therapeutics in cancer: a focus on nano-albumin-bound drugs. Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2013;88(3):504-513.
- Weiss GJ, Chao J, Neidhart D, et al. First-in-human phase 1/2a trial of CRLX101, a cyclodextrin-containing polymer-camptothecin nanopharmaceutical in patients with advanced solid tumor malignancies. Invest New Drugs. 2013;31(4):986-1000.
- National Cancer Institute. FDA approval for paclitaxel albumin-stabilized nanoparticle formulation. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/druginfo/fda-nanoparticle-paclitaxel. Accessed February 17, 2014.
- National Cancer Institute. FDA approval for doxorubicin hydrochloride liposome. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/druginfo/fda-doxorubicin-HCL-liposome. Accessed February 17, 2014.
- Jain KK. Nanooncology. In: Kain JJ, ed. Applications of Biotechnology in Oncology. New York, NY, Humana Press; 2014:393-472 (Chapter 9).
- Lluch A, Alvarez I, Muñoz M, et al. Treatment innovations for metastatic breast cancer: nanoparticle albumin-bound (NAB) technology targeted to tumors. Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2014;89(1):62-72.
- Thakor AS, Gambhir SS. Nanooncology: the future of cancer diagnosis and therapy. CA Cancer J Clin. 2013;63(6):395-418.
- Yang Y, Zhang X, Yu C, et al. Smart nanorods for highly effective cancer theranostic applications. Adv Healthc Mater. 2013 December 27. [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1002/adhm.201300463.
- Liu Z, Liang XJ. Nano-carbons as theranostics. Theranostics. 2012;2(3):235-237.
- Baiu DC, Brazel CS, Bao Y, Otto M. Interactions of iron oxide nanoparticles with the immune system: challenges and opportunities for their use in nano-oncology. Curr Pharm Des. 2013;19(37):6606-6621.
- Ma L, Kohli M, Smith A. Nanoparticles for combination drug therapy. ACS Nano. 2013;7(11):9518-9525.
- Wang AZ, Langer R, Farokhzad OC. Nanoparticle delivery of cancer drugs. Ann Rev Med. 2012;63:185-198.
- Avvakumova S, Colombo M, Tortora P, Prosperi D. Biotechnological approaches toward nanoparticle biofunctionalization. Trends Biotechnol. 2014;32(1):11-20.
- American Association for Cancer Research. New nanopharmaceutical may help overcome resistance to certain anticancer drugs. http://www.aacr.org/home/public–media/aacr-press-releases.aspx?d=3186. Accessed February 20, 2014.
- Eldar-Boock A, Polyak D, Scomparin A, Satchi-Fainaro R. Nano-sized polymers and liposomes designed to deliver combination therapy for cancer. Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2013;24(4):682-689.
- Kratz F, Warnecke A. Finding the optimal balance: challenges of improving conventional cancer chemotherapy using suitable combinations with nan-sized drug delivery systems. J Contr Release. 2012;164(2):221-235.