Biological processes, including ones necessary for life and those that lead to cancer, occur at the nanoscale. Thus, in fact, we are composed of a multitude of biological nano-machines. Nanotechnology provides researchers with the opportunity to study and manipulate macromolecules in real time and during the earliest stages of cancer progression. Nanotechnology can provide rapid and sensitive detection of cancer-related molecules, enabling scientists to detect molecular changes even when they occur only in a small percentage of cells. Nanotechnology also has the potential to generate entirely novel and highly effective therapeutic agents.
Launched in 2004, the NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer program is a comprehensive, structured effort, encompassing the public and private sector to converge multidisciplinary research in nanotechnology to advance the fight against cancer.
The outlet by which technologies go from bench-to-bedside is by way of commercialized intellectual property. The translational success of Alliance investigators begins with this step.
A well-organized, collaborative system of data sharing is critical in the translation of nanotechnology research into commercially viable therapeutics and diagnostics to treat patients.
The Cancer Nanotechnology Plan serves as a strategic document to the NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer as well as a guiding document to the cancer nanotechnology and oncology fields, as a whole.