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Current and Future Nanotechnology Applications in the Management of Melanoma: A Review

Hawys Lloyd-Hughes, Andreas E Shiatis, Amit Pabari, Ash Mosahebi and Alexander Seifalian

Melanoma is a common malignancy with a high survival rate amongst those diagnosed early. The management of advanced disease is challenging, and current chemosurgery techniques have minimal effect on survival. Nanotechnology, offers great potential in revolutionizing the management of melanoma. New molecules and nanoparticles are designed worldwide in an aim to improve the diagnosis and spread to sentinel lymph nodes and other organs. Novel drug delivery systems are formulated to optimise the distribution and pharmacokinetics of chemotherapeutic agents while reducing their toxic effects. The scope of such molecules extends to therapeutic applications including photodynamic and photothermic therapy where light is converted to heat to combat neoplastic lesions; immunotherapy where nanoparticles are used as immunomodulators or vaccines against cancer cells; and gene therapy which targets pro-oncogenes on signal transduction pathways. This review paper presents current knowledge of the use of nanotechnology in the management of cancer, with a focus on melanoma.