The RNA interference (RNAi) technique is a new modality for cancer therapy, and several candidates are being tested clinically. Nanotheranostics is a rapidly growing field combining disease diagnosis and therapy, which ultimately may add in the development of ‘personalized medicine’.
Technologies on theranostic nanomedicines has been discussed. We designed and developed bioresponsive and fluorescent hyaluronic acid-iodixanol nanogels (HAI-NGs) for targeted X-ray computed tomography (CT) imaging and chemotherapy of MCF-7 human breast tumors. HAI-NGs were obtained with a small size of ca. 90 nm, bright green fluorescence and high serum stability from hyaluronic acid-cystamine-tetrazole and reductively degradable polyiodixanol-methacrylate via nanoprecipitation and a photo-click crosslinking reaction. This chapter presents an over view of the current status of translating the RNAi cancer therapeutics in the clinic, a brief description of the biological barriers in drug delivery, and the roles of imaging in aspects of administration route, systemic circulation, and cellular barriers for the clinical translation of RNAi cancer therapeutics, and with partial content for discussing the safety concerns. Finally, we focus on imaging-guided delivery of RNAi therapeutics in preclinical development, including the basic principles of different imaging modalities, and their advantages and limitations for biological imaging. With growing number of RNAi therapeutics entering the clinic, various imaging methods will play an important role in facilitating the translation of RNAi cancer therapeutics from bench to bedside.