Progression of nano-entities research in oncology

Progression of nano-entities research in oncology
“Survival of the fittest” is a famous phrase that hits our brain while hearing the concept of theory of evolution. This is not only restricted to the mankind of today’s world but also to his gadgets. In healthcare, to improve the patients’ outcomes (like the performance of the patient, cure, survival, etc.), the medical technology has undergone upgradation and evolution.

In the last 20-30 years, external factors and lifestyle changes have brought human survival index to a new low. Cancer cases both in young and adult population are on a surge. Extensive uses of chemicals in the form of fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides and radiations have caused mutations in our DNA. In addition, smoking habits also have increased the prevalence and incidence of cancer around the world.

Historically, late cancer detection, no research in onco vaccination and an ineffective overall cancer treatment have led to a dedicated medico-oncology nanoengineering team to come together to bring a change. The oncology treatment and management protocols that were designed two to three decades ago have undergone major changes in the current and updated/upgraded Medico-Surgical Oncology Guidelines globally. Henceforth, innovative experimentation and oncology research new modules have led to an advanced treatment improving both patient outcomes and survival. Recently, new treatments like gold nanoparticles, nano drug delivery and nanodiagnostics have improved the health economics. Primary parameters, such as detection of tumour at an early stage, reduction of tumour size, pain, cancer remission, etc. and secondary parameters like long hospital stay, weight loss, sustained bleeding, prolonged chemoradiotherapy sessions, their fatal side effects, low survival rate, psycho-emotional quotient, etc. are being targeted to help patients with improved technologies to reduce their hospital stay, for better treatment outcomes, longer survival and improved quality of life (QOL).

Regarding diagnostics, the new target molecules (nanoparticles) have evolved and brought a paradigm shift in oncology. The targeted nanoparticles are being used to target the oncogenes. The strategy aids a better and effective treatment with reduced side effects and an early recovery in stage I-II cancers.

Regarding drug delivery, most chemotherapeutic drugs have side effects and sometimes have improper target reach. However, the advent of nanotubes, nanorods, dendrimers, nanospheres, and nano-antennas using carbon, iron, gadolinium, gold, silicon, etc. have paved a safe and efficient treatment protocol providing better patient outcomes with less unexpected side effects. Drug delivery has indeed assisted the medical oncologists in advanced oncoshift. Even in cardiovascular and neuro-oncology, the concept of nano drones would be big and significant. Today, the feasibility (analysis, assessment and selection) of an oncotarget has triggered the development of an effective onco management strategy.

Regarding surgical oncology, major stapling and dissection devices are getting smart (e.g. nanomaterials, such as needles and sutures under research.) reducing the operating time and hospital stay of the patients. Major smart surgical interventions are also playing a critical role in achieving the objective.

Regarding radio-oncology and the existing scans, the nanoparticles that have been developed to serve as dual detection devices for both magnetic resonance and microscopy are helping in the early detection of cancer and overall survival of the patients.

However, innovation also comes at a price. Long-term analysis and reviews are required with more patient outcome data. The number of clinical trials and data registries must be executed globally to evaluate the safety and efficacy of these nanoparticles in oncology. Animal studies and current controlled environment patient studies may not be sufficient. Toxicity and environmental impact of these nanoparticles should often be evaluated and reported to the health regulatory around the world through pharmacovigilance.

Just like cardiometabolic diseases (diabetes and hypertension), diagnostic and curative nanotechnology might replace the term “cancer” into “chronic manageable disease” within the next 10 years. However, more research in bionanotechnology is required. The motivation for innovation must be encouraged at high school and must be incorporated in science curriculum globally.

How to cite this article:
Dr. Prince Gupta. Progression of nano-entities research in oncology. BioLim O-Media. 01 August, 2017. 5(8).
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