Cancer deaths are caused more frequently by metastasis to distant sites than by the primary tumor. Despite significant advances, the efficacy of conventional cancer chemotherapy is limited by cytotoxicity to normal cells, the inability to reach the primary tumor or metastatic site(s), and by selection of multidrug-resistant tumor cells. However, recent advances in nanomedicine provide promising alternatives for cancer treatment that may improve the survival of patients with metastatic disease.
New research has shown that gold nanorods (AuNRs) effectively inhibit the migratory and invasive properties of various metastatic cancer cell lines in vitro and in vivo. More importantly, the self-inhibitory effects of AuNRs can be enhanced by combination with anti-cancer drug delivery or photothermal therapy, which might provide a new direction for future investigation of functionalized AuNRs as an nano-platform for cancer therapy.