Targeted nanoagents for the detection of cancers

Mol Oncol. 2010 Dec;4(6):511-28. doi: 10.1016/j.molonc.2010.08.003. Epub 2010 Sep 8.


Nanotechnology has enabled a renaissance in the diagnosis of cancers. This is due, in part to the ability to develop agents bearing multiple functionalities, including those utilized for targeting, imaging, and therapy, allowing for the tailoring of the properties of the nanomaterials. Whereas many nanomaterials exhibit localization to diseased tissues via intrinsic targeting, the addition of targeting ligands, such as antibodies, peptides, aptamers, and small molecules, facilitates far more sensitive cancer detection. As such, this review focuses upon some of the most poignant examples of the utility of affinity ligand targeted nanoagents in the detection of cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aptamers, Peptide
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods
  • Fluorescent Dyes / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods
  • Ligands
  • Molecular Structure
  • Nanostructures*
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Peptides


  • Aptamers, Peptide
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Ligands
  • Peptides