Nano-based delivery of RNAi in cancer therapy

Mol Cancer. 2017 Jul 28;16(1):134. doi: 10.1186/s12943-017-0683-y.


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.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods
  • Genetic Therapy / methods
  • Humans
  • Nanoparticles / administration & dosage*
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • RNA Interference / physiology*