New opportunities for nanoparticles in cancer immunotherapy

  • Park, Wooram (Department of Biomedical Science, CHA University) ;
  • Heo, Young-Jae (Department of Biomedical Science, CHA University) ;
  • Han, Dong Keun (Department of Biomedical Science, CHA University)
  • Received : 2018.05.08
  • Accepted : 2018.08.24
  • Published : 2018.12.31


Background: Recently, cancer immunotherapy has become standard for cancer treatment. Immunotherapy not only treats primary tumors, but also prevents metastasis and recurrence, representing a major advantage over conventional cancer treatments. However, existing cancer immunotherapies have limited clinical benefits because cancer antigens are often not effectively delivered to immune cells. Furthermore, unlike lymphoma, solid tumors evade anti-cancer immunity by forming an immune-suppressive tumor microenvironment (TME). One approach for overcoming these limitations of cancer immunotherapy involves nanoparticles based on biomaterials. Main body: Here, we review in detail recent trends in the use of nanoparticles in cancer immunotherapy. First, to illustrate the unmet needs for nanoparticles in this field, we describe the mechanisms underlying cancer immunotherapy. We then explain the role of nanoparticles in the delivery of cancer antigens and adjuvants. Next, we discuss how nanoparticles can be helpful within the immune-suppressive TME. Finally, we summarize current and future uses of nanoparticles with image-guided interventional techniques in cancer immunotherapy. Conclusion: Recently developed approaches for using nanoparticles in cancer immunotherapy have enormous potential for improving cancer treatment. Cancer immunotherapy based on nanoparticles is anticipated not only to overcome the limitations of existing immunotherapy, but also to generate synergistic effects via cooperation between nanoparticles and immune cells.


Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF)


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