Nanotechnology in oncology - current state of knowledge
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Dorota Laskowska
Engineering of Biomaterials 2019;(152):2-9
Nanotechnology is an interdisciplinary area of science devoted to the production and testing of nanostructures - defined as forms of the matter organizations the size of which does not exceed 100 nm. It is a quickly developing area of science with many applications in different areas of life, for example in engineering, computing, medicine, pharmacy, and agriculture. One of the problems of contemporary oncology is the low specificity of applied therapies. Most currently used chemiopharmaceuticals have systemic effects which not only affect cancer cells but also healthy tissues. Complications after chemotherapy observed in many patients are bone marrow deficiency (neutropenin, thrombocytopenia, anemia), damage to the nervous system (neurotoxicity), myocardium (cardiotoxicity) and pulmonary parenchyma. Similarly, in radiotherapy, ionizing radiation destroys the healthy tissues in the irradiation field. The side effects of radiation therapy may include fatigue, skin reactions, and impairment of tissue and organ functions. According to studies, nanostructures are an opportunity to overcome these limitations. The most popular nanostructures used in medicine are liposomes, silver and gold nanoparticles, magnetic nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes, and dendrimers. The purpose of this article is to present the current state of knowledge on the use of available nanotechnology solutions in pharmacology and cancer treatment.
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