Current Nanotechnology Treatments

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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

Product Company Nanoparticle material Drug Indication FDA

Abraxane

Abraxis/Celgene

Nanoparticle-bound albumin

Paclitaxel

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

2005

DaunoXome

Galen

Liposome

Daunorubicin

Kaposi’s sarcoma

1996

DepoCyt

Pacira

Liposome

Cytarabine

Neoplastic meningitis

1999

Doxil

Johnson and Johnson

Liposome

Doxorubicin

Kaposi’s sarcoma,

Ovarian cancer,

Breast cancer,

Multiple myeloma

1995

1999

2003

2007 (Europe, Canada)

Genexol-PM

Samyang/Biopharm

PEG-PLA polymeric micelle

Paclitaxel

Breast cancer, Lung cancer, Ovarian cancer

2007 (South Korea)

Lipo-Dox

Taiwan Liposome

Liposome

Doxorubicin

Kaposi’s sarcoma, Breast cancer, Ovarian cancer

1998 (Taiwan)

Marqibo

Talon

Liposome

Vincristine

Acute lymphoid leukemia

2012

Mepact

Takeda

Liposome

Mifamurtide MTP-PE

Osteosarcoma

2009 (EU)

Myocet

Cephalon

Liposome

Doxorubicin

Breast Cancer

2000 (EU)

NanoTherm

Magforce Nanotechnologies

Iron oxide nanoparticle

 

Thermal ablation glioblastoma

2010 (EU)

Oncaspar

Enzon-Sigma-tau

Polymer protein conjugate

L-asparaginase

Leukemia

2006

Onivyde

Merrimack Pharma

Liposome

Irinotecan

Pancreatic cancer

2015

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.

  • Posted: August 8, 2017