Nanotechnology platforms for cancer immunotherapy

Zhaogang Yang, Yifan Ma, Hai Zhao, Yuan Yuan, Betty Y.S. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Various cancer therapies have advanced remarkably over the past decade. Unlike the direct therapeutic targeting of tumor cells, cancer immunotherapy is a new strategy that boosts the host's immune system to detect specific cancer cells for efficient elimination. Nanoparticles incorporating immunomodulatory agents can activate immune cells and modulate the tumor microenvironment to enhance antitumor immunity. Such nanoparticle-based cancer immunotherapies have received considerable attention and have been extensively studied in recent years. This review thus focuses on nanoparticle-based platforms (especially naturally derived nanoparticles and synthetic nanoparticles) utilized in recent advances; summarizes delivery systems that incorporate various immune-modulating agents, including peptides and nucleic acids, immune checkpoint inhibitors, and other small immunostimulating agents; and introduces combinational cancer immunotherapy with nanoparticles, especially nanoparticle-based photo-immunotherapy and nanoparticle-based chemo-immunotherapy. Undoubtedly, the recent studies introduced in this review prove that nanoparticle-incorporated cancer immunotherapy is a highly promising treatment modality for patients with cancer. Nonetheless further research is needed to solve safety concerns and improve efficacy of nanoplatform-based cancer immunotherapy for future clinical application. This article is categorized under: Therapeutic Approaches and Drug Discovery > Nanomedicine for Oncologic Disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1590
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • cancer immunotherapy
  • immunomodulatory agents
  • nanoplatforms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering


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