Hydrophobicity has been an obstacle that hinders the use of many anticancer drugs. A critical challenge for cancer therapy concerns the limited availability of effective biocompatible delivery systems for most hydrophobic therapeutic anticancer drugs. In this study, we have developed a targeted near-infrared (NIR)-regulated hydrophobic drug-delivery platform based on gold nanorods incorporated within a mesoporous silica framework (AuMPs). Upon application of NIR light, the photothermal effect of the gold nanorods leads to a rapid rise in the local temperature, thus resulting in the release of the entrapped drug molecules. By integrating chemotherapy and photothermotherapy into one system, we have studied the therapeutic effects of camptothecin-loaded AuMP-polyethylene glycol-folic acid nanocarrier. Results revealed a synergistic effect in vitro and in vivo, which would make it possible to enhance the therapeutic effect of hydrophobic drugs and decrease drug side effects. Studies have shown the feasibility of using this nanocarrier as a targeted and noninvasive remote-controlled hydrophobic drug-delivery system with high spatial/temperal resolution. Owing to these advantages, we envision that this NIR-controlled, targeted drug-delivery method would promote the development of high-performance hydrophobic anticancer drug-delivery system in future clinical applications.