Early Cancer Detection and Treatment with Nanotechnology
Until now cancer detection and treatment methods are mostly ineffective due to the following two main reasons. Firstly, patients go to health center when they feel ill, most probably after cancer cells created in their body some long time later and/or the methods by themselves are non-specific screening methods, which often resulted in late cancer detection for effective treatment and some of these methods may be destructive to normal cells or even can cause cancer. Secondly, current cancer treatment methods are non-selection and toxic those kill both abnormal and normal cells leading to serious side effects. The use of nanotechnology to health sector, particularly its ability to detect cancer in its early stage and for complete treatment along with reducing toxicity, promises to have a deep impact on healthcare in general and on cancer in particular. This new technology has already shown the potential to detect cancer in its early stage and to increase the specificity of treatment of tumor cells while leaving healthy cells undamaged through the use of the unique properties of nanoparticles. This review discusses the use of nanoparticles such as quantum dots, magnetic nanoparticles, gold nanoparticles, polymeric micelles, liposomes, dendrimers and porous silicon nanoparticles for the early detection and treatment of cancer.