Delivery of Cancer Nanotherapeutics

  • Bomy Lee Chung
  • Joseph Kaplinsky
  • Robert Langer
  • Nazila KamalyEmail author
Part of the Bioanalysis book series (BIOANALYSIS, volume 5)


Cancer nanotherapeutics comprise the main application of nanotechnology to healthcare and are administered intravenously for faster action and maximal bioavailability. As nanotherapeutics become more clinically established, a fundamental understanding of their interactions in vivo is necessary in order to better design these medicines to reach their target site in sufficient dose. The physicochemical properties of nanoparticles (e.g., size, shape, charge, and surface properties) determine their biological interactions in vivo. These properties, in addition to the tumor microenvironment, influence the dose of nanotherapeutics accumulating in tumors and within cancer cells. For instance, once injected, nanotherapeutics encounter multiple barriers in the body before they reach the tumor, after which they encounter cellular and intracellular obstacles. The route of administration is an important parameter for investigation, as the fraction of nanoparticles and therefore their therapeutic payload concentration at the disease site are consequently determined by barriers presented following intravenous or intraperitoneal administration. In this chapter, we aim to provide an overview of the different delivery methods used for clinical administration of cancer nanotherapeutics and discuss biological barriers to their delivery and how these could be overcome. This knowledge can aid in the better design of nanotherapeutics, with a focus on injectable formulations.


Cancer Tumors Oncology Nanotherapeutics Nanomedicine Nanoparticle Delivery route Intravenous Intraperitoneal Administration route Protein corona Tumor microenvironment Physicochemical properties Mononuclear phagocytic system Polymeric nanoparticles Liposomes Chemotherapy Biological barriers Opsonins Enhanced permeation and retention effect EPR Ligands Pharmacokinetics Biodistribution Clearance 



N.K. acknowledges support from the Lundbeck Foundation, Denmark.


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bomy Lee Chung
    • 1
  • Joseph Kaplinsky
    • 2
  • Robert Langer
    • 1
  • Nazila Kamaly
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Chemical EngineeringCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Technical University of Denmark. Department of Micro and Nanotechnology, DTU NanotechLyngbyDenmark

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