Theranostics 2016; 6(7):986-1003. doi:10.7150/thno.14860 This issue


Versatile Nanosystem-Based Cancer Theranostics: Design Inspiration and Predetermined Routing

Yaw Opoku-Damoah, Ruoning Wang, Jianping Zhou, Yang Ding

State Key Laboratory of Natural Medicines, Department of Pharmaceutics, China Pharmaceutical University, 24 Tongjiaxiang, Nanjing 210009, China.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
Opoku-Damoah Y, Wang R, Zhou J, Ding Y. Versatile Nanosystem-Based Cancer Theranostics: Design Inspiration and Predetermined Routing. Theranostics 2016; 6(7):986-1003. doi:10.7150/thno.14860. Available from

File import instruction


Graphic abstract

The relevance of personalized medicine, aimed at a more individualized drug therapy, has inspired research into nano-based concerted diagnosis and therapeutics (theranostics). As the intention is to “kill two birds with one stone”, scientists have already described the emerging concept as a treasured tailor for the future of cancer therapy, wherein the main idea is to design “smart” nanosystems to concurrently discharge both therapeutic and diagnostic roles. These nanosystems are expected to offer a relatively clearer view of the ingenious cellular trafficking pathway, in-situ diagnosis, and therapeutic efficacy. We herein present a detailed review of versatile nanosystems, with prominent examples of recently developed intelligent delivery strategies which have gained attention in the field of theranostics. These nanotheranostics include various mechanisms programmed in novel platforms to enable predetermined delivery of cargo to specific sites, as well as techniques to overcome the notable challenges involved in the efficacy of theranostics.

Keywords: cancer theranostics, personalized medicine, versatile nanosystems, predetermined routing.