Basics to advances in nanotherapy of colorectal cancer

  • Ankita Tiwari
  • Shivani Saraf
  • Ankit Jain
  • Pritish K. Panda
  • Amit Verma
  • Sanjay K. JainEmail author
Review Article


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer existing across the globe. It begins with the formation of polyps leading to the development of metastasis, especially in advanced stage patients, who necessitate intensive chemotherapy that usually results in a poor response and high morbidity owing to multidrug resistance and severe untoward effects to the non-cancerous cells. Advancements in the targeted drug delivery permit the targeting of tumor cells without affecting the non-tumor cells. Various nanocarriers such as liposomes, polymeric nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes, micelles, and nanogels, etc. are being developed and explored for effective delivery of cytotoxic drugs to the target site thereby enhancing the drug distribution and bioavailability, simultaneously subduing the side effects. Moreover, immunotherapy for CRC is being explored for last few decades. Few clinical trials have even potentially benefited patients suffering from CRC, still immunotherapy persists merely an experimental alternative. Assessment of the ongoing and completed trials is to be warranted for effective treatment of CRC. Scientists are paying efforts to develop novel carrier systems that may enhance the targeting potential of low therapeutic index chemo- and immune-therapeutics. Several preclinical studies have revealed the superior efficacy of nanotherapy in CRC as compared to conventional approaches. Clinical trials are being recruited to ascertain the safety and efficacy of CRC therapies. The present review discourses in a nutshell the molecular interventions including the genetics, signaling pathways involved in CRC, and advances in various strategies explored for the treatment of CRC with a special emphasis on nanocarriers based drug targeting.


Colorectal cancer Nanocarriers Molecular pathogenesis Immunotherapy Drug delivery 



Ankita Tiwari (SRF), Pritish Kumar Panda (SRF), and Amit Verma (RA) are highly obliged to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR, New Delhi) for rendering funding assistance.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Controlled Release Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pharmaceutics Research Projects Laboratory, Department of Pharmaceutical SciencesDr. Harisingh Gour Central UniversitySagarIndia
  2. 2.Institute of Pharmaceutical ResearchGLA UniversityMathuraIndia

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