The uncontrolled release of drugs in conventional drug delivery systems has led to the introduction of new nanotechnology-based drug delivery systems and the use of targeted nanocarriers for cancer treatment. These targeted nanocarriers, which consist of intelligent nanoparticles modified with targeting ligands, can deliver drugs to specified locations at the right time and reduce drug doses to prevent side effects. Folate is a suitable targeting ligand for folate receptors overexpressed on cancer cells and has shown promising results in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. In this review, we highlight the latest developments on the use of folate-conjugated nanoparticles in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Moreover, the toxicity, biocompatibility and efficacy of these nanocarriers are discussed.