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Cancer Nanotechnology – Opportunities and Challenges – View from the NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer (invited presentation)

P. Grodzinski
National Cancer Institute, US

Keywords: cancer, nanotechnology, localized delivery, post therapy monitoring


National Cancer Institute is engaged in efforts to harness the power of nanotechnology to radically change the way we diagnose and treat cancer. Novel and multi-functional nanodevices will be capable of detecting cancer at its earliest stages, pinpointing its location within the body, delivering anticancer drugs specifically to malignant cells, and determining if these drugs are effective. Functionalized nanoparticles would deliver multiple therapeutic agents to tumor sites in order to simultaneously attack multiple points in the pathways involved in cancer. Such nano-therapeutics are expected to increase the efficacy of drugs while dramatically reducing potential side effects. In vivo biosensors would have the capability of detecting tumors and metastatic lesions that are far smaller than those detectable using current, conventional technologies. Furthermore, they will provide rapid information on whether a given therapy is working as expected. In order to further these research goals, NCI formed a program called Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer which was initiated in 2004. The Alliance invests approximately $150 million for the funding period of 5 years to pursue applied nanotechnologies for cancer detection, therapy, and prevention with an aim to achieve clinical translational stage of these technologies towards culmination of the program.
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