Recent Progress in Lipid Nanoparticles for Cancer Theranostics: Opportunity and Challenges

Sarah I. Bukhari, Syed Sarim Imam, Mohammad Zaki Ahmad, Parameswara Rao Vuddanda, Sultan Alshehri, Wael A. Mahdi, Javed Ahmad

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Cancer is one of the major leading causes of mortality in the world. The implication of nanotherapeutics in cancer has garnered splendid attention owing to their capability to efficiently address various difficulties associated with conventional drug delivery systems such as non-specific biodistribution, poor efficacy, and the possibility of occurrence of multi-drug resistance. Amongst a plethora of nanocarriers for drugs, this review emphasized lipidic nanocarrier systems for delivering anticancer therapeutics because of their biocompatibility, safety, high drug loading and capability to simultaneously carrying imaging agent and ligands as well. Furthermore, to date, the lack of interaction between diagnosis and treatment has hampered the efforts of the nanotherapeutic approach alone to deal with cancer effectively. Therefore, a novel paradigm with concomitant imaging (with contrasting agents), targeting (with biomarkers), and anticancer agent being delivered in one lipidic nanocarrier system (as cancer theranostics) seems to be very promising in overcoming various hurdles in effective cancer treatment. The major obstacles that are supposed to be addressed by employing lipidic theranostic nanomedicine include nanomedicine reach to tumor cells, drug internalization in cancer cells for therapeutic intervention, off-site drug distribution, and uptake via the host immune system. A comprehensive account of recent research updates in the field of lipidic nanocarrier loaded with therapeutic and diagnostic agents is covered in the present article. Nevertheless, there are notable hurdles in the clinical translation of the lipidic theranostic nanomedicines, which are also highlighted in the present review along with plausible countermeasures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e840
Issue number6
Early online date7 Jun 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Jun 2021


  • cancer
  • multi-drug resistance
  • enhanced permeation and retention effect
  • nanotherapeutics
  • cancer theranostic
  • clinical translation


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