Part of the book: Biodiversity Enrichment in a Diverse World
Despite many technological breakthroughs, even the best breast cancer treatments available today are not 100% effective. Chemotherapy has improved, but many drugs still do not reach the tumor site at effective doses and are often associated with high systemic toxicity and poor pharmacokinetics. Moreover, for many malignancies, diagnosis is obtainable only in metastatic stages of development, reducing the overall effectiveness of treatment. The choice of available treatments depends on tumor characteristics such as biomarkers, tumor size, metastatic disease, ligands, and antigen or endocrine receptor expression. Combined with surgical resection, chemotherapy and radiation remain the first line of treatment for patients with cancer. Even with these treatments, however, cancer continues to have high fatality rates and current therapeutic modalities have yet to significantly improve the often dismal prognosis of this disease. Nanotechnology is a highly focused approach, which may provide more effective and less toxic treatment when compared to chemotherapy. This area of research has emerged as cancer treatment in the form of new drugs and has reached promising results in preclinical and clinical trials proving its value as a potential tumor therapy.
Part of the book: Breast Cancer