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National Cancer Institute
National Cancer Institute U.S. National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute
OverviewUnderstanding NanotechnologyImpacts on CancerWhere It Stands Now

Impacts on Cancer

Biological processes, including events necessary for life and those that lead to cancer, occur at the nanoscale. We are, in fact, composed of biological nanomachines. Nanotechnology provides researchers with the opportunity to study and manipulate macromolecules in real time and during the earliest stages of cancer progression. Nanotechnology can provide rapid and sensitive detection of cancer-related molecules, enabling scientists to detect molecular changes even when they occur only in a small percentage of cells. Nanotechnology also has the potential to generate entirely novel and highly effective therapeutic agents.

Cancer Nanotechnology Podcasts

Listen to a series of podcasts explaining how nanotechnology is used to fight cancer through improved therapeutics, as well as diagnostic and imaging tools. Listen to a podcast »

Benefits for Diagnosis

In the fight against cancer, half the battle is won based on early detection. Nanotechnology is contributing new molecular agents and methods to enable earlier and more accurate diagnosis and treatment monitoring. Read about benefits for cancer diagnosis »

Benefits for Treatment and Clinical Outcomes

Cancer therapies are currently limited to surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. All three methods risk damage to normal tissues or incomplete eradication of the cancer. Nanotechnology offers the means to aim therapies directly and selectively at cancerous cells. Read about benefits for cancer treatment and clinical outcomes »

Patient Testimonials

View excerpts from the 2012 Alliance Principle Investigator’s Meeting where an oncologist and two cancer survivors shared their experiences with cancer. Listen to a testimonial »