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Gold Nanoparticles- Boon in Cancer Theranostics


Mehak Jindal, Manju Nagpal*, Manjinder Singh, Geeta Aggarwal and Gitika Arora Dhingra   Pages 1 - 17 ( 17 )


Background: Cancer is the world’s second largest cause of death with an estimated 9.6 million fatalities in 2018. Malignant tumour (cancer) is caused by a mix of genetic modifications due to the environmental variables that tends to activate or inactivate different genes, ultimately resulting in neoplastic transformations. Cancer is a multi-stage process that results from the conversion of the ordinary cells to tumour cells and progresses from a pre-cancer lesion to abnormal growth.

Methods: Chemotherapy inhibits the ability of the cells to divide rapidly in an abnormal manner, but this treatment simultaneously affects the entire cellular network in human body leading to cytotoxic effects. In this review article, the same issue has been addressed by discussing various aspects of newer class of drugs in cancer therapeutics i.e. Gold Nanoparticles (AuNPs) from metal nanoparticle (NP) class.

Results: Metal NPs are advantageous over conventional chemotherapy as the adverse drug reactions are lesser. Additionally, ease of drug delivery, targeting and gene silencing are salient features of this treatment. Functionalized ligand-targeting metal NPs provide better energy deposition control in tumour. AuNPs are promising agents in the field of cancer treatment and are comprehensively studied as contrast agents, carriers of medicinal products, radio sensitizers and photothermal agents. For the targeted delivery of chemo-therapeutic agent, AuNPs are used and also tend to enhance tumour imaging in vivo for a variety of cancers types and diseased organs.

Conclusion: The first part of the review focuses on various nano-carriers that are used for the cancer therapy and deals with the progression of metal NPs in cancer therapy. Second part emphasizes the use of nanotechnology by considering latest studies for diagnostic and therapeutic properties of AuNPs. AuNPs presents latest studies in the field of nanotechnology which has lead to development of early stage clinical trials. The next part of the review discusses the major features of five principal types of AuNPs: gold nanorods, gold nanoshells, gold nanospheres, gold nanocages, and gold nanostars that have their application in photothermal therapy (PTT).


tumor, metal nanoparticles, diagnostic, theranostic, ligand, cytotoxicity, photothermal therapy


Chitkara College of Pharmacy, Chitkara University, Punjab, Chitkara College of Pharmacy, Chitkara University, Punjab, Chitkara College of Pharmacy, Chitkara University, Punjab, Delhi Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research University, New Delhi-110017, NCRD’s Sterling Institute of Pharmacy, Nerul, Navi Mumbai

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