Liposomes are a type of biomimetic nanoparticles generated from self-assembling concentric lipid bilayer enclosing an aqueous core domain. They have been attractive nanocarriers for the delivery of many drugs (e.g. radiopharmaceuticals, chemotherapeutic agents, porphyrin) and diagnostic agents (e.g. fluorescent dyes, quantum dots, Gadolinium complex and Fe3O4) by encapsulating (or adsorbing) hydrophilic one inside the liposomal aqueous core domain (or on the bilayer membrane surface), and by entrapping hydrophobic one within the liposomal bilayer. Additionally, the liposome surface can be easily conjugated with targeting molecules. Liposomes may accumulate in cancerous tissues not only passively via enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect, but also actively by targeting cancer cell or angiogenic marker specifically. The multimodality imaging functionalization of liposomal therapeutic agents makes them highly attractive for individualized monitoring of the in vivo cancer targeting and pharmacokinetics of liposomes loading therapeutic drugs, and predicting therapeutic efficacy in combination with the helpful information from each imaging technique. The present review article will highlight some main advances of cancer theranostic liposomes with a view to activate further research in the nanomedicine community.
Keywords: Liposomes; cancer theranostics; cerasomes; contrast enhanced imaging; drug delivery; drug nanocarrier..
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