A fundamental question is how to detect likely successful anticancer treatments based on nanotechnology. We confront this question here by analyzing the trajectories of nanotechnologies applied to path-breaking cancer treatments, which endeavour to pinpoint ground-breaking and fruitful directions in nanomedicine. Results tend to show two main technological waves of cancer treatments by nanotechnology applications. The early technological wave in the early 2000s was embodied in some types of chemotherapy agents with a broad spectrum, while after 2006, the second technological wave appeared with new nano-technological applications in both chemotherapy agents and molecular target therapy. The present study shows new directions of nanotechnology-based chemotherapy and -molecular cancer therapy in new treatments for breast, lung, brain and colon cancers. A main finding of this study is the recognition that, since the late 2000s, the sharp increase of several technological trajectories of nanotechnologies and anticancer drugs seems to be driven by high rates of mortality of some types of cancers (e.g. pancreatic and brain ones) in order to find more effectiveness anticancer therapies that increase the survival of patients. The study here also shows that worldwide leader countries in these vital research fields and in particular the specialization of some countries in applications of nanotechnology to treat specific cancer (e.g. Switzerland in prostate cancer, Japan in colon, China in ovarian and Greece in pancreatic cancer). These ground-breaking technological trajectories are paving new directions in biomedicine and generating a revolution in clinical practice that may lead to more effective anticancer treatments in a not-too-distant future.
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