Theranostic small interfering RNA nanoparticles in cancer precision nanomedicine

Wiley Interdiscip Rev Nanomed Nanobiotechnol. 2020 Mar;12(2):e1595. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1595. Epub 2019 Oct 23.


Due to their ability to effectively downregulate the expression of target genes, small interfering RNA (siRNA) have emerged as promising candidates for precision medicine in cancer. Although some siRNA-based treatments have advanced to clinical trials, challenges such as poor stability during circulation, and less than optimal pharmacokinetics and biodistribution of siRNA in vivo present barriers to the systemic delivery of siRNA. In recent years, theranostic nanomedicine integrating siRNA delivery has attracted significant attention for precision medicine. Theranostic nanomedicine takes advantage of the high capacity of nanoplatforms to ferry cargo with imaging and therapeutic capabilities. These theranostic nanoplatforms have the potential to play a major role in gene specific treatments. Here we have reviewed recent advances in the use of theranostic nanoplatforms to deliver siRNA, and discussed the opportunities as well as challenges associated with this exciting technology. This article is categorized under: Diagnostic Tools > In Vivo Nanodiagnostics and Imaging Therapeutic Approaches and Drug Discovery > Nanomedicine for Oncologic Disease Implantable Materials and Surgical Technologies > Nanomaterials and Implants.

Keywords: cancer; molecular imaging; nanomedicine; siRNA; theranostics.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Precision Medicine*
  • RNA, Small Interfering* / chemistry
  • RNA, Small Interfering* / therapeutic use
  • RNA, Small Interfering* / ultrastructure
  • Theranostic Nanomedicine*


  • RNA, Small Interfering