Cancer therapy a la paintball? Three teams from BRICS countries, including Russia and India, plan to embark on a project that uses the benefits of...

Cancer therapy a la paintball? Three teams from BRICS countries, including Russia and India, plan to embark on a project that uses the benefits of nanotechnology to simultaneously bundle both diagnostics and therapy into one package for treating cancer just like paintball activity. Countries such as the US, UK, France and Germany are leading in nanotheranostics for personalised medicine.

To tackle cancer burden in the BRICS bloc, three teams representing Brazil, India and Russia have framed the "Development, Characterisation and Evaluation of Nanoradiopharmaceuticals for Breast and Prostate Cancer Imaging, Diagnostics and Treatment" project (DCEN-4-BRICS).

Dubbed nananotheranostics (abridged from therapy-diagnostic), this emerging advanced nano-medicine helps customising treatment for the patient and also shorten time between diagnosis and therapy of a disease, all with one pharmaceutical agent.

Like those James Bond-style GPS tracking devices, nanotheranostics allows monitoring drug delivery, movement of drug and therapeutic responses, enabling treatment strategies to be modified according to changing needs of the patient. As tackling cancer is not a one-size-fits-all scenario, nanotechnology provides the means for more precise and earlier tumour localisation and more efficient treatment with less secondary

Nanotheranostics, the integration of diagnostic and therapeutic function in one system using the benefits of nanotechnology, is extremely attractive for personalized medicine. Because treating cancer is not a one-size-fits-all scenario, it requires therapy to be adapted to the patient’s specific biomolecules.

Personalized and precision medicine (PM) does just that. It identifies biomarkers to gain an understanding of the diagnosis and in turn treating the specific disorder based on the precise diagnosis. By predominantly utilizing the unique properties of nanoparticles to achieve biomarker identification and drug delivery, nanotheranostics can be applied to noninvasively discover and target image biomarkers and further deliver treatment based on the biomarker distribution.

This is a large and hopeful role theranostics must fill. However, as described in this expert opinion, current nanotechnology-based theranostics systems engineered for PM applications are not yet sufficient. PM is an ever-growing field that will be a driving force for future discoveries in biomedicine, especially cancer theranostics. In this article, the authors dissect the requirements for successful nanotheranostics-based PM, according to

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