Application of chitosan modified nanocarriers in breast cancer

Int J Biol Macromol. 2022 Jan 1;194:521-538. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2021.11.095. Epub 2021 Nov 22.


As per the WHO, every year around 2.1 million women are detected with breast cancer. It is one of the most invasive cancer in women and second most among all, contributing around 15% of death worldwide. The available anticancer therapies including chemo, radio, and hormone therapy are associated with a high load of reversible and irreversible adverse effects, limited therapeutic efficacy, and low chances of quality survival. To minimize the side effects, improving therapeutic potency and patient compliance promising targeted therapies are highly desirable. In this sequence, various nanocarriers and target modified systems have been explored by researchers throughout the world. Among these chitosan-based nanocarriers offers one of the most interesting, flexible, and biocompatible systems. The unique characteristics of chitosan like surface flexibility, biocompatibility, hydrophilicity, non-toxic and cost-effective behavior assist to overcome the inadequacy of existing therapy. The present review throws light on the successes, failures, and current status of chitosan modified novel techniques for tumor targeting of bioactives. It also emphasizes the molecular classification of breast cancer and current clinical development of novel therapies. The review compiles most relevant works of the past 10 years focusing on the application of chitosan-based nanocarrier against breast cancer.

Keywords: Breast Cancer; Chitosan nanoparticles; Curcumin; Doxorubicin; Gemcitabine; Tamoxifen.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Chitosan / pharmacology*
  • Drug Carriers / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Nanoparticles / therapeutic use*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Drug Carriers
  • Chitosan