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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2012, Article ID 891318, 7 pages
Research Article

Nanoparticles in Cancer Imaging and Therapy

1Institute of Medical Physics, School of Physics, The University of Sydney, Sydney, N.S.W 2006, Australia
2Plasma Nanoscience Centre Australia (PNCA), CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering, P.O. Box 218, Lindfield, N.S.W 2070, Australia

Received 10 February 2012; Accepted 3 March 2012

Academic Editor: Krasimir Vasilev

Copyright © 2012 Leon Smith et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nanoparticle contrast agents offer the potential to significantly improve existing methods of cancer diagnosis and treatment. Advantages include biocompatibility, selective accumulation in tumor cells, and reduced toxicity. Considerable research is underway into the use of nanoparticles as enhancement agents for radiation therapy and photodynamic therapy, where they may be used to deliver treatment agents, produce localized enhancements in radiation dose and selectively target tumor cells for localized damage. This paper reviews the current status of nanoparticles for cancer treatment and presents preliminary results of a pilot study investigating titanium dioxide nanoparticles for dual-mode enhancement of computed tomography (CT) imaging and kilovoltage radiation therapy. Although titanium dioxide produced noticeable image contrast enhancement in the CT scans, more sensitive detectors are needed to determine whether the nanoparticles can also produce localized dose enhancement for targeted radiation therapy.