According are two ways of incorporating a drug

According to the National Cancer Institute, radiation
therapy or also simplified as radiotherapy is a growing method used in cancer
treatment where it shrinks tumour and cancer cells using a high-energy
radiation which include x-rays, gamma rays and charged particles. The therapy
is divided into three which is external, internal and systemic radiation therapies.
External-beam radiation therapy is done by using a machine called a linear
accelerator or LINAC where the radiation is incident towards the area outside
of the body where the cancer is located. On the other hand, internal radiation
therapy is done by delivering the radiation by means of a carrier inside the
body or on the body. Meanwhile, radioactive substance such as 131-iodine is
being ingested or injected in systemic radiation therapy for treatment of
thyroid cancer. Radiotherapy for cancer treatment can be given with either
curative intent or palliative intent. Curative treatment is intended by eradicating
the tumour, preventing its recurrence or both and it is established either
alone or in combination with other treatments such as surgery or chemotherapy
or maybe both. Palliative treatment will be more focused on relieving the symptoms
and minimising the pain in cancer patient rather than curing the cancer itself (National Cancer Institute, 2016).

Generally, radiation therapy works by killing or damaging tumour
cells and it will take days to weeks for these cells to dies upon starting the
treatment and will continue to die for weeks or months after the treatment is
over. There might be concern regarding the damaging effect of radiation on
normal healthy cells but in normal circumstances the cell will repair
themselves (Fronya and Moshe, 2016).

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The aims of developing a nano-system for drug delivery is to
acquire a more specific drug targeting and delivery, increase efficacy, to
minimise toxicity, providing higher biocompatibility and safety, and to develop
new safe medicines in a short period of time. For a nanoparticle to be a part
of the drug delivery system, the nanoparticle formulation should be
biodegradable that it can easily release its content to the targeted site while
remaining stable throughout the journey. (De Jong and Borm, 2008). The efficiency of
nanoparticles in delivery drug to the target site relies on their size and
surface area. There are two ways of incorporating a drug to nanoparticles; by
integrating drugs in the particle matrix or by attaching drug molecules onto
the surface of the particle. (Suri, Fenniri and Singh, 2007). These are done by
dissolving, adsorbing, attaching, entrapping, and/or encapsulating the intended
drugs into or onto a nano-matrix (Singh and W., 2009)

Some examples of nanoparticles that have been developed for
medical use are polymer, liposome, semiconductor and metal nanoparticles.
Polymer of wide range have been used in this field due to their effectiveness
in delivering drugs to target site which increases the drug therapeutic effects
while keeping the side effects under control. Liposomes is another type of
nanoparticles that have showed successful results in transporting drug due to
their capability to carry the drugs to the target site, prevent the degradation
of drugs as well as reduce the side effects. Meanwhile, semiconductor and
metallic nanoparticles play a significant role in diagnosis and treatment for
cancer. This is due to enhanced light scattering and absorption by their
surface plasmon resonance (SPR) .

 

Developing target specific nanoparticles has been a great
challenge in establishing nano-system drug delivery. However, the challenges
are amplified in the application of nanoparticles in cancer therapy since
tumour is known to be localised by metastasising to other organs. To overcome
this problem, technology of the nanoparticle which has specific characteristics
which can be used as tools for local drug delivery and targeting is beneficial.
Their small size enables them to penetrate the lipid bilayer, bind and
stabilise proteins, and easier for them to be released from lysosome following
endocytosis. (De Jong and Borm, 2008). Since it is required for the
nano-system to be specific in targeting a target organ, tissues or organelles,
there are a few ways for drug delivery targeting which include passive, active
and physical targeting (Yu et al.,
2016).