Background: RNA interference (RNAi), a newly developed method in which RNA molecules inhibit gene expression, has recently received considerable research attention. In the development of RNAi-based therapies, nanoparticles, which have distinctive size effects along with facile modification strategies and are capable of mediating effective RNAi with targeting potential, are attracting extensive interest.
Objective: This review presents an overview of the mechanisms of RNAi molecules in gene therapy and the different nanoparticles used to deliver RNAi molecules; briefly describes the current uses of RNAi in cancer therapy along with the nano-based delivery of RNA molecules in previous studies; and highlights some other carriers that have been applied in clinical settings. Finally, we discuss the nano-based delivery of RNAi therapeutics in preclinical development, including the current status and limitations of anti-cancer treatment.
Conclusion: With the growing number of RNAi therapeutics entering the clinical phase, various nanocarriers are expected to play important roles in the delivery of RNAi molecules for cancer therapeutics.
Keywords: Cancer therapy; Gene therapy; Nanocarriers; RNAi; miRNA; siRNA.