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<Targeting Cancer Cells with Nanoparticles ⁄ >

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Cancer is the number two cause of death in the United States, killing over 550,000 people annually according to the American Cancer Society's 2009 Cancer Statistics report. Although there has been significant progress in the treatment of cancer over the past 20 years, the overall five-year survival rate is still only 66%. Some of the causes for this high mortality rate include tumor identification and classification, late diagnosis, and incomplete or inadequate treatment - all of which lead to poor patient outcomes.

The majority of promising new cancer therapies target selected cancer-activated biochemical pathways. To maximize the clinical utility of these new therapies, researchers must identify and understand the molecular characteristics of each patient's tumor, and to obtain as much diagnostic and prognostic information as possible for each patient.

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