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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

Where It Stands Now

The application of nanotechnology to medicine includes the use of precisely engineered materials to develop novel therapies and devices that may reduce toxicity as well as enhance the efficacy and delivery of treatments. As a result, the application of nanotechnology to cancer can lead to many advances in the prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer. The first nanotechnology-based cancer drugs have passed regulatory scrutiny and are already on the market including Doxil® and Abraxane®.

In recent years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved numerous Investigational New Drug (IND) applications for nano-formulations, enabling clinical trials for breast, gynecological, solid tumor, lung, mesenchymal tissue, lymphoma, central nervous system and genito-urinary cancer treatments. The majority of these trials repurpose the previously approved technologies described above.

The NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology funds development of new technologies to bring the next generation of cancer treatments to the clinic.

Nanotechnology in Clinical Trials

Promising new Alliance-developed diagnostics and therapies are in clinical trials. Learn more about these nanotechnology-based advances.

Safety of Nanotechnology

NCIís Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer is working to ensure that nanotechnologies for cancer applications are developed responsibly. Learn more about Alliance resources to ensure the safety of nanotechnology.