Updates on the applications of iron-based nanoplatforms in tumor theranostics

Int J Pharm. 2020 Nov 15:589:119815. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2020.119815. Epub 2020 Aug 30.


With the development of biomedicine and materials science, the emerging research of iron-based nanoplatforms (INPs) have provided a bright future for tumor theranostics. Thanks to its excellent biocompatibility and diverse application potential, some INPs have successfully transformed from the laboratory to the clinic and market, making it one of the most successful nanoplatforms. Further investigations associated with its enormous biomedical potential is continuing, and new features of them are being demonstrated. The discovery of ferroptosis therapy opens up new avenue for the applications of INPs in tumor therapy, which is attracting tremendous attention from worldwide. It is well established that some of the INPs are capable of triggering the tumor cell ferroptosis efficiently, accelerating the tumor cell death process. Combined with anti-tumor drugs or other tumor therapy approaches, the INPs-induced ferroptosis are expected to break the bottleneck in the treatment of drug-resistant malignant tumors. In addition, other applications of INPs in tumor theranostics field are still active. Featured with the catalase-like ability, INPs were also well documented to reverse the tumor hypoxia as nanozymes, assisting and enhancing the oxygen-consuming tumor therapy approaches. And the unique magnetic property of INPs endow it with great potential in tumor diagnosis, hyperthermal therapy and target drug delivery. It is of great significance to summarize these new advances. Herein, the latest reports of the applications of INPs in tumor theranostics are classified to expound the trend of its research and development. The featured functions of it will be discussed in detail to provide a new insight. The key issues needing to be addressed and the development prospective will be put forward. We hope that this review will be helpful to understand the ample potential of INPs in tumor theranostics field.

Keywords: Ferroptosis; Iron-based nanoplatforms; Magnetic property; Nanozyme.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Iron
  • Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Precision Medicine
  • Prospective Studies


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Iron