Preface

With parallel breakthroughs occurring in molecular biology and nanoscience/technology, the newly recognized research thrust on "nanomedicine" is expected to have a revolutionary impact on the future of healthcare. To advance nanotechnology research for cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, the United States National Cancer Institute (NCI) established the Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer in September 2004 and has pledged $144.3 million in the next five years (for details, visit http://nano.cancer.gov). Among the approaches for exploiting developments in nanotechnology for cancer molecular medicine, nanoparticles offer some unique advantages as sensing, delivery, and image enhancement agents. Several varieties of nanoparticles are available, including polymeric conjugates and nanoparticles, micelles, dendrimers, liposomes, and nanoassemblies.

This book focuses specifically on nanoscientific and nanotechnological strategies that are effective and promising for imaging and treatment of cancer. Among the various approaches considered, nanotechnology offers the best promise for targeted delivery of drugs and genes to the tumor site and alleviation of the side effects of chemotherapeutic agents. Multifunctional nanosystems offer tremendous opportunity for combining more than one drug or using drug and imaging agents. The expertise of world-renowned academic and industrial researchers is brought together here to provide a comprehensive treatise on this subject.

The book is composed of thirty-eight chapters divided into seven sections that address the specific nanoplatforms used for imaging and delivery of therapeutic molecules. Section 1 focuses on the rationale and fundamental understanding of targeting strategies, including pharmacokinetic considerations for delivery to tumors in vivo, multifunctional nanotherapeutics, boron neutron capture therapy, and the discussion on nanotechnology characterization for cancer therapy, as well as guidance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on approval of nanotechnology products. Section 2 focuses on polymeric conjugates used for tumor-targeted imaging and delivery, including special consideration on the use of imaging to evaluate therapeutic efficacy. In Section 3, polymeric nanoparticle systems are discussed with emphasis on biodegradable, long-circulating nanoparticles for passive and active targeting. Section 4 focuses on polymeric micellar assemblies, where sophisticated chemistry is applied for the development of novel nanosystems that can provide efficient delivery to tumors. Many of the micellar delivery systems are undergoing clinical trials in Japan and other countries across the globe. Dendritic nanostructures used for cancer imaging and therapy are discussed in Section 5. Section 6 focuses on the oldest nanotechnology for cancer therapy—liposome-based delivery systems—with emphasis on surface modification to enhance target efficiency and temperature-responsive liposomes. Lastly, Section 7 focuses on other lipid nanosystems used for targeted delivery of cancer therapy, including nanoemulsions that can cross biological barriers, solid-lipid nanoparticles, lipoprotein nanoparticles, and DQAsomes for mitochondria-specific delivery.

Words cannot adequately express my admiration and gratitude to all of the contributing authors. Each chapter is written by a world-renowned authority on the subject, and I am deeply grateful for their willingness to participate in this project. I am also extremely grateful to Dr. Piotr Grodzinski for providing the Foreword. Drs. Fredika Robertson and Mauro Ferrari have done a superb job in laying the foundation by providing a chapter entitled "Introduction and Rationale for Nanotechnology in Cancer." I am grateful to Professor Kinam Park at Purdue University, Professor Robert Langer at MIT, and Professor Vladimir Torchilin at Northeastern University, who have been my mentors and collaborators, as well as many other researchers from academia and industry. Special thanks are due to the postdoctoral associates and graduate students in my laboratory at Northeastern University who have been the "soldiers in the trenches" in our quest to use nanotechnology for the targeted delivery of drugs and genes to solid tumors. Lastly, I am deeply grateful to the wonderful people at Taylor & Francis-CRC Press, including Stephen Zollo, Patricia Roberson, and many others, who have made the concept of this book into reality.

Any comments and constructive criticisms of the book can be sent to the editor at [email protected].

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