Acquired drug resistance (ADR) can be developed in colorectal cancer cells after 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) treatment and diminish the effectiveness of chemotherapy. In this work, acquired 5-FU resistance in the colorectal cancer cell line SW480 was obtained with the up-regulation of dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPYD) gene expression which can convert 5-FU to its inactive metabolite. To overcome ADR in colorectal cancer, hollow mesoporous silica nanoparticles (HMSNs) grafted with epidermal growth factor (EGF) were used as nanocarriers to deliver 5-FU to colorectal cancer cells with acquired drug resistance. The effect and mechanism of 5-FU loaded EGF grafted HMSNs (EGF-HMSNs-5-FU) in overcoming acquired drug resistance in SW480/ADR cells were studied. The EGF-HMSNs were demonstrated to be specifically internalized in EGFR overexpressed SW480/ADR cells via a receptor-mediated endocytosis and can escape from endo-lysosomes. The EGF-HMSNs-5-FU exhibited much higher cytotoxicity on SW480/ADR cells than HMSNs-5-FU and free 5-FU while the plain HMSNs did not show significant cytotoxicity. The mechanism of EGF-HMSNs-5-FU in overcoming drug resistance in SW480/ADR cells could be attributed to the specific internalization of EGF-HMSNs-5-FU in EGFR overexpressed cells which can lead to high intracellular drug accumulation and cause cell death through S phase arrest.