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Current Nanotechnology Treatments

Credit: National Cancer Institute

The use of nanotechnology for diagnosis and treatment of cancer is largely still in the development phase. However, there are already several nanocarrier-based drugs on the market and many more nano-based therapeutics in clinical trials.  The application of nanotechnology to medicine includes the use of precisely engineered materials to develop novel therapies and devices that may reduce toxicity as well as enhance the efficacy and delivery of treatments. As a result, the application of nanotechnology to cancer can lead to many advances in the prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer. The first nanotechnology-based cancer drugs have passed regulatory scrutiny and are already on the market including Doxil® and Abraxane®.

In recent years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved numerous Investigational New Drug (IND) applications for nano-formulations, enabling clinical trials for breast, gynecological, solid tumor, lung, mesenchymal tissue, lymphoma, central nervous system and genito-urinary cancer treatments. The majority of these trials repurpose the previously approved technologies described above.

The NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology funds development of new technologies to bring the next generation of cancer treatments and diagnostics to the clinic.

Approved Cancer Drug Therapies Based on Nanotechnology

Approval Date Product Company Nanoparticle material Drug Indication
2019 (EU)

Hensify (NBTXR3)

Nanobiotix

Hafnium oxide nanoparticle

 

Locally-advanced soft tissue sarcoma (STS)

2017

Vyxeos

Celator/Jazz Pharma

Liposome

Cytarabine/ Daunorubicin

Acute myeloid leukemia

2015

Onivyde

Merrimack Pharma

Liposome

Irinotecan

Pancreatic cancer

2012

Marqibo

Talon

Liposome

Vincristine

Acute lymphoid leukemia

2010 (EU)

NanoTherm

Magforce Nanotechnologies

Iron oxide nanoparticle

 

Glioblastoma

2009 (EU)

Mepact

Takeda

Liposome

Mifamurtide MTP-PE

Osteosarcoma

2007 (South Korea)

Genexol-PM

Samyang/Biopharm

PEG-PLA polymeric micelle

Paclitaxel

Breast cancer, Lung cancer, Ovarian cancer

2006

Oncaspar

Enzon-Sigma-tau

Polymer protein conjugate

L-asparaginase

Leukemia

2005

Abraxane

Abraxis/Celgene

Nanoparticle-bound albumin

Paclitaxel

Breast cancer, Pancreatic cancer, Non-small-cell lung cancer

2000 (EU)

Myocet

Cephalon

Liposome

Doxorubicin

Breast Cancer

1999

DepoCyt

Pacira

Liposome

Cytarabine

Neoplastic meningitis

1998 (Taiwan)

Lipo-Dox

Taiwan Liposome

Liposome

Doxorubicin

Kaposi’s sarcoma, Breast cancer, Ovarian cancer

1996

DaunoXome

Galen Liposome

Daunorubicin

Kaposi’s sarcoma

1995

1999

2003

2007 (Europe, Canada)

Doxil

Johnson and Johnson

Liposome

Doxorubicin

Kaposi’s sarcoma, Ovarian cancer, Breast cancer, Multiple myeloma

Adapted from Wicki A, Witzigmann D, Balasubramanian V, Huwyler J. Nanomedicine in cancer therapy: challenges, opportunities, and clinical applications. J Control Release (2015) 200: pp. 138-57.

Nanotechnology in Clinical Trials

Promising new Alliance-developed diagnostics and therapies are in clinical trials. Learn more about these nanotechnology-based advances.

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