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Introduction: Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide and efficient new strategies are urgently needed to combat its high mortality and morbidity statistics. Fortunately, over the years, nanotechnology has evolved as a frontrunner in the areas of imaging, diagnostics and therapy, giving the possibility of monitoring, evaluating and individualizing cancer treatments in real-time. Areas covered: Polymer-based nanocarriers have been extensively studied to maximize cancer treatment efficacy and minimize the adverse effects of standard therapeutics. Regarding diagnosis, nanomaterials like quantum dots, iron oxide nanoparticles or gold nanoparticles have been developed to provide rapid, sensitive detection of cancer and, therefore, facilitate early treatment and monitoring of the disease. Therefore, multifunctional nanosystems with both imaging and therapy functionalities bring us a step closer to delivering precision/personalized medicine in the cancer setting. Expert opinion: There are multiple barriers for these new nanosystems to enter the clinic, but it is expected that in the near future, nanocarriers, together with new ‘targeted drugs’, could replace our current treatments and cancer could become a nonfatal disease with good recovery rates. Joint efforts between scientists, clinicians, the pharmaceutical industry and legislative bodies are needed to bring to fruition the application of nanosystems in the clinical management of cancer.

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This page is a summary of: Clinical advances of nanocarrier-based cancer therapy and diagnostics, Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery, July 2016, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/17425247.2016.1205585.
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