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Am J Transl Res 2013;5(2):126-131

Review Article
Cerium oxide nanoparticles: potential applications for cancer and
other diseases

Melissa S Wason, Jihe Zhao

Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Orlando, FL 32827

Received January 12, 2013; Accepted February 21, 2013; Epub March 28, 2013; Published April 8, 2013

Abstract: The diverse abilities of cerium oxide nanoparticles (CONPs) have encouraged researchers to pursue
CONPs as a therapeutic agent to treat a number of diseases, including cancer. In vitro and in vivo studies have
shown CONPs to be toxic to cancer cells, inhibit invasion, and sensitize cancer cells to radiation therapy.
However, CONPs display minimal toxicity to normal tissues and provide protection from various forms of reactive
oxygen species (ROS) generation. The antioxidant capabilities of CONPs, which enable radiation protection, have
also resulted in the exploration of these particles as a potential treatment for other disorders characterized by
ROS accumulation, such as diabetes and macular degeneration. While critical information regarding the uptake,
retention, and clearance of these particles is incomplete and conflicting reports exist about in vitro toxicity, most
research into the various applications of CONPs has yielded promising data. This review highlights the current
research into cerium oxide nanoparticles as a novel therapeutic for the treatment of cancer and other diseases

Keywords: Cerium oxide nanoparticles (CONPs), cancer, reactive oxygen species (ROS), pro-oxidant, anti-oxidant

Address correspondence to: Jihe Zhao, Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, College of Medicine, University
of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32827. Phone: 407-266-7099; Fax: 407-266-7002; E-mail:  jihe.zhao@ucf.edu