To help meet the goal of reducing the burden of cancer, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, is engaged in efforts to harness the power of nanotechnology to radically change the way we diagnose, treat and prevent cancer.
The NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer is a comprehensive, systematized initiative encompassing the public and private sectors, designed to accelerate the application of the best capabilities of nanotechnology to cancer.
Currently, scientists are limited in their ability to turn promising molecular discoveries into benefits for cancer patients. Nanotechnology can provide the technical power and tools that will enable those developing new diagnostics, therapeutics, and preventives to keep pace with today’s explosion in knowledge.
To harness the potential of nanotechnology in cancer, the goals of the NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer are to develop:
* Research tools to identify new biological targets
* Agents to monitor predictive molecular changes and prevent precancerous cells from becoming malignant
* Imaging agents and diagnostics to detect cancer in the earliest, most easily treatable, pre-symptomatic stage
* Multi-functional targeted devices to deliver multiple therapeutic agents directly to cancer cells
* Systems to provide real-time assessments of therapeutic and surgical efficacy
* Novel methods to manage symptoms that reduce quality of life