Application of Nanomaterials in Cancer Diagnosis, Drug Delivery, and Therapy

  • Shahid S. Siddiqui
  • Mashael Saeed Al-Qahtani
  • Faisal Ahmed Khalil Al Allaf
  • Loganathan Sivakumar
  • Zeba Kidwai Siddiqui


Cancer diagnostics and therapy has a lot to gain from advances in nanotechnology. Liposomes like nanoparticles can be loaded with probes and anti-cancer drugs to target cancer tissues. Drug delivery requires the specificity of targeting the cancer tissue; prolonged circulation of the nanoparticles in the blood; assessment of the tumor microenvironment (TME) and the controlled release of nanoparticles. This is particularly important from enhanced permeability and retention of nanomaterials, also known as the EPR effect. Thus, controlling the nanoparticles for different cancer types and in different formulations is critical. Efficacy and access of nanoparticles to the cancer cells may be monitored and regulated for specific tumor types that could lead to patient specific precision medicine. Hence, innovative nanotechnology can supplement existing molecular, cellular, and genetic techniques to study alterations across different cancer types, enabling the sorting of normal and malignant cells and tissues. For diagnostics, nanoparticle biosensors may be used in monitoring molecular signals specific to tumorigenesis, to assess tumor specific changes occurring in the malignant tissues. Here we also review novel nanotechnologies including the use of CRISPR/Cas9, CAR-T immunotherapy, and DNA and RNA nanotechnology studies in cancer theranostics design.


Nanomaterials Nanoparticles CRISPR/Cas9 CAR-T Immunotherapy Cancer theranostics EPR Nanotechnology Nanomedicine Drug delivery Cancer therapy Spherical nucleic acids 



We are grateful to the stimulating conversations with our colleagues at University of Chicago (Everett Vokes; Ravi Salgia and Ezra Cohen) and invaluable discussions with the colleagues at UQUDENT. We regret not including excellent reviews and original articles in nanomedicine and cancer that could have been cited; due to the limited space allotted for this chapter. No conflict of interest or funding is reported in writing this chapter.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shahid S. Siddiqui
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Mashael Saeed Al-Qahtani
    • 2
  • Faisal Ahmed Khalil Al Allaf
    • 3
  • Loganathan Sivakumar
    • 1
    • 4
  • Zeba Kidwai Siddiqui
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of MedicineUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Basic and Clinical Oral SciencesFaculty of Dentistry, Umm Al Qura UniversityMakkahSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.Department of Medical GeneticsFaculty of Medicine, Umm Al Qura UniversityMakkahSaudi Arabia
  4. 4.Department of Environmental SciencePeriyar UniversitySalemIndia
  5. 5.McGenome LLCGlenviewUSA

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