CAS Key Laboratory for Biomedical Effects of Nanomaterials and Nanosafety, National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, Beijing 100190, China.
Functionalized fullerenes with specific physicochemical properties have been developed for cancer diagnosis and therapy. Notably, metallofullerene is a new class of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast-enhancing agent, and may have promising applications for clinical diagnosis. Polyhydroxylated and carboxyl fullerenes have been applied to photoacoustic imaging. Moreover, in recent years, functionalized fullerenes have shown potential in tumor therapies, such as photodynamic therapy, photothermal treatment, radiotherapy and chemotherapeutics. Their antitumor effects may be associated with the modulation of oxidative stress, anti-angiogenesis, and immunostimulatory activity. While various types of novel nanoparticle agents have been exploited in tumor theranostics, their distribution, metabolism and toxicity in organisms have also been a source of concern among researchers. The present review summarizes the potential of fullerenes as tumor theranostics agents and their possible underlying mechanisms are discussed.
Keywords: Functionalized fullerenes, nanoparticles, cancer diagnosis, cancer therapy, theranostics.