Pharmaceutical Aspects of Green Synthesized Silver Nanoparticles: A Boon to Cancer Treatment

Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2021;21(12):1490-1509. doi: 10.2174/1871520620666200918111024.


Background: Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are among the most investigated nanostructures in recent years, which exhibit more challenging and promising qualities in different biomedical applications. The AgNPs synthesized by the green approach provide potential healthcare benefits over chemical approaches, including improvement of tissue restoration, drug delivery, diagnosis, being environmentally friendly, and a boon to cancer treatment.

Objective: In the current scenario, the development of safe and effective drug delivery systems is the utmost concern of formulation development scientists as well as clinicians.

Methods: Google, Web of Science, and PubMed portals have been searched for potentially relevant literature to get the latest developments and updated information related to different aspects of green synthesized AgNPs along with their biomedical applications, especially in the treatment of different types of cancers.

Results: The present review highlights the latest published research regarding the different green approaches for the synthesis of AgNPs, their characterization techniques as well as various biomedical applications, particularly in cancer treatment. In this context, environment-friendly AgNPs are proving themselves as better candidates in terms of size, drug loading and release efficiency, targeting efficiency, minimal drug-associated side effects, pharmacokinetic profiling, and biocompatibility issues.

Conclusion: With continuous efforts by multidisciplinary team approaches, nanotechnology-based AgNPs will shed new light on diagnostics and therapeutics in various disease treatments. However, the toxicity issues of AgNPs need greater attention as unanticipated toxic effects must be ruled out for their diversified applications.

Keywords: Nanotechnology; anticancer effect; biomedical applications; green synthesis; silver nanoparticles; toxicity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Green Chemistry Technology*
  • Humans
  • Metal Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Silver / chemistry
  • Silver / pharmacology*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Silver