Table 3: List of the studies on nanomedicine development in breast cancer therapeutic research.

Type of NPsConjugated biomoleculesTargeting pathwayFindings

Moses et al., 2016 [35]In vitro on:
MCF-7, MDA-MB-231 (breast cancer human cell lines) and MCF-10A (healthy human cells)
AuNPsExtracts from Commiphora myrrha and Boswellia sacraInducing cytotoxicityCytotoxicity in both breast cancer cell lines was more aggressive without harm to healthy cells

Swanner et al., 2015 [58]In vitro on
MCF-7, MCF-10A, MDA-MB-231, 184B5, BT-549, and SUM-159 human cells
AgNPs-Oxidative stress and DNA damageAgNPs led to selective cytotoxicity and radiation dose-enhancement effects in breast cancer cells as a self-therapeutic agent

Devulapally et al., 2015 [59]In vivo (animal model) and in vitro on MDA-MB-231 human cellsPLGA-b-PEG polymer NPsAntisense-miR-21 and antisense-miR-10bTargeting metastasis and antiapoptosis by multitarget antagonisation of endogenous miRNAsThere was a substantial reduction in tumour proliferation at very low dose and 40% reduction in tumour proliferation compared to control

Shu et al., 2015 [60]In vivo (animal model) and in vitro on MDA-MB-231 human cellsRNA NPs based on pRNA 3-way-junction (3WJ)Anti-miR-21Targeting metastasis and antiapoptosis by multitarget antagonisation of endogenous miRNAConfirming the potential role of RNA NPs in miRNA delivery in cancer therapeutics

Liu et al., 2014 [61]In vivo and in vitro (animal model) on SUM149, BT549, and MCF-10A cellsPEG-PLA NPssiRNATargeting of cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1) by siRNA induces decrease of cell viability, enhances cell apoptosisTumour progression has been suppressed in mice without causing any systemic toxicity, and without activating the innate immune response

Deng et al., 2014 [62]In vivo (animal model) and in vitro on MDA-MB-231 human cellsHyaluronic acid-chitosan NPsDOX and miR-34aSuppressing the expression of anti-apoptosis proto-oncogene Bcl-2 and non-pump resistance in tumour cells by DOX. Also, miR-34a plays an intracellular role via targeting Notch-1 signaling which leads to inhibition cancer cell migrationThe delivery of miR-34a and DOX has effects on tumour suppression

Deng et al., 2013 [63]In vivo and in vitro on MDA-MB-468 animal model cellsLayer-by-layer nanoparticlessiRNATargeting of multidrug resistance protein 1 by siRNA enhances DOX efficacy and led to decrease in tumour volumeIncrease of DOX efficacy led to decrease of tumour volume with no observed toxicity compared to the control treatments

Wang et al., 2011 [64]In vitro on SK-BR3 and MDA-MB-468 human cellsAuNCsHerceptinTargeting and nuclear localization in ERBB2 overexpressing breast cancer cellsAuNCs were able to enter the cell nucleus and promoted the competency of Herceptin drug

Dreaden et al., 2009 [65]In vitro on MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 human cellsPlasmonic AuNPsTamoxifen-PEG-ThiolTargeting estrogen receptor positive breast cancer cellsA high degree of perinuclear and cytoplasmic localization of the targeted particles, with increased potency and selective intracellular delivery of tamoxifen

Au et al., 2008 [66]In vitro on SK-BR-3Gold nanocagesAnti-HER2Targeting of the epidermal growth factor receptor which is overexpressed on breast cancer cellsOptimal parameters of nanocages required to achieve cellular damage and increase percentage of dead cancer cells

Gradishar et al., 2005 [67]Clinical trial on metastatic breast cancer patientsAlbumin NPsPaclitaxelPaclitaxel is a chemotherapy drug, and it works based on antineoplastic/cytotoxic mechanism.Nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel demonstrated greater efficacy and a favourable safety profile compared with standard paclitaxel.

NPs: nanoparticles; AuNPs: gold nanoparticles; AgNPs: silver nanoparticles; DOX: doxorubicin; PLGA: poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid); PEG: poly (ethylene glycol); AuNCs: gold nanoclusters.