Latest Cancer Fullerene Research

For a few decades, nanoparticles (NPs) have gained the limelight in the treatment of cancer over a combination of conventional cancer therapies such as chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and hormone therapy (Jabir et al. 2018). Chemotherapeutics pose pharmaceutical restraints, which include problems with physicochemical stability and aqueous solubility. They also exhibit dose-limiting toxicity and non-specific toxicity to healthy cells, with alopecia, anorexia, peripheral neuropathy, and diarrhea being the distinctive side effects. Another notable challenge impeding cancer treatment is multidrug resistance (MDR) whereby the cancer cells become cross-resistant to several anti-neoplastic agents used. Carbon nanomaterials (CNMs) hold exceptional physicochemical properties, including thermal, optical, electrical, mechanical, and structural diversity, compared to other nanoparticles (Hong et al. 2015)These excellent characteristics possessed by the hollow cylindrical graphitic sheets, the carbon nanotubes (CNTs), give them greater flexibility, strength, and electrical conductivity towards biological entities, which is beneficial for the medical diagnosis and treatment (Wu et al. 2010; Hwang et al. 2013; Roldo and Fatouros 2013; Shanbhag and Prasad 2016). The most prevalent fullerene, C60, is a stable icosahedron with C5–C5 single bonds forming 12 pentagons and C5–C6 double bonds forming 20 hexagons (Krätschmer et al. 1990). It consists of 30 double bonds that readily accept free radicals, hence, giving it the term “free radicle sponge” (Krusic et al. 1991). This singular characteristic of C60 to either quench or generate cell-damaging reactive oxygen species (ROS), as well as its small size and large surface area, could be efficiently applied in biomedicine and clinical therapy (Markovic and Trajkovic 2008).