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Cancer nanomedicine meets immunotherapy: Opportunities and challenges

: Sun, Q.; Bai, X.; Sofias, A.M.; Meel, R. van der; Ruiz-Hernandez, E.; Storm, G.; Hennink, W.E.; Geest, B. de; Kiessling, F.; Yu, H.-J.; Lammers, T.; Shi, Y.


Acta pharmacologica Sinica : APS 41 (2020), No.7, pp.954-958
ISSN: 1671-4083
ISSN: 1745-7254
Journal Article
Fraunhofer MEVIS ()

Cancer nanomedicines have shown promise in combination immunotherapy, thus far mostly preclinically but also already in clinical trials. Combining nanomedicines with immunotherapy aims to reinforce the cancer-immunity cycle, via potentiating key steps in the immune reaction cascade, namely antigen release, antigen processing, antigen presentation, and immune cell-mediated killing. Combination nano-immunotherapy can be realized via three targeting strategies, i.e., by targeting cancer cells, targeting the tumor immune microenvironment, and targeting the peripheral immune system. The clinical potential of nano-immunotherapy has recently been demonstrated in a phase III trial in which nano-albumin paclitaxel (Abraxane®) was combined with atezolizumab (Tecentriq®) for the treatment of patients suffering from advanced triple-negative breast cancer. In the present paper, besides strategies and initial (pre)clinical success stories, we also discuss several key challenges in nano-immunotherapy. Taken together, nanomedicines combined with immunotherapy are gaining significant attention, and it is anticipated that they will play an increasingly important role in clinical cancer therapy.