Thirty years of cancer nanomedicine: Success, frustration, and hope

Lucia Salvioni, Maria Antonietta Rizzuto, Jessica Armida Bertolini, Laura Pandolfi, Miriam Colombo, Davide Prosperi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Starting with the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect discovery, nanomedicine has gained a crucial role in cancer treatment. The advances in the field have led to the approval of nanodrugs with improved safety profile and still inspire the ongoing investigations. However, several restrictions, such as high manufacturing costs, technical challenges, and effectiveness below expectations, raised skeptical opinions within the scientific community about the clinical relevance of nanomedicine. In this review, we aim to give an overall vision of the current hurdles encountered by nanotherapeutics along with their design, development, and translation, and we offer a prospective view on possible strategies to overcome such limitations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1855
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer nanomedicine
  • Clinical translation
  • EPR effect
  • Nanoparticles
  • Nano–bio interactions
  • Tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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