Autophagy is an intracellular biological catabolic process of mammalian cells to maintain the homeostasis. It plays a wide role in the clearance of damaged cellular organelles, misfolded or aggregated proteins like alpha-synuclein, β-amyloid peptides, Tau proteins and pathogens. Recent studies have clearly demonstrated that dysfunction in autophagy leads to the development of cancer, cardiomyopathy, chronic infection, neurodegenerative and other diseases. Therefore, modulation of autophagy has therapeutic value to cure the diseases including cancer using external stimuli. In this context, various researchers developed small molecules such as chloroquine, rapamycin, etc. for the treatment of cancer through autophagy. However, these molecules possess side effects which limit their use in the clinics. Therefore, nanomedicine approach could stand as an alternative treatment option to induce the autophagy in cancer therapy. Several investigators developed a variety of nanomaterials which themselves act as autophagy inducers or inhibitors. Considering this, the present review article will focus on the recent developments of nanomedicine in the area of autophagy that have been focused on the treatment of cancers. We also summarised the detailed mechanisms of nanoparticles mediated autophagy which could be helpful for developing new strategies to fight against cancer. Also, the present review article covers the current clinical status of nanomedicine and future challenges. Finally, we conclude with the future potential role of nanomedicine for autophagy induction in the cancer treatment.
Keywords: Cancer, Nanomedicine, Autophagy, Eukaryotic cell, Lysosome, Drug delivery.
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