Research Highlights

Nanoparticle-based immunoengineering strategies for enhancing cancer immunotherapy

Bao-Toan Nguyen Dang a, Taeg Kyu Kwon b, Sooyeun Lee a, Jee-Heon Jeong c, *, Simmyung Yook d,e,*

Journal of Controlled Release
Cancer immunotherapy is a groundbreaking strategy that has revolutionized the field of oncology compared to other therapeutic strategies, such as surgery, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy. However, cancer complexity, tumor heterogeneity, and immune escape have become the main hurdles to the clinical application of immu- notherapy. Moreover, conventional immunotherapies cause many harmful side effects owing to hyperreactivity in patients, long treatment durations and expensive cost. Nanotechnology is considered a transformative approach that enhances the potency of immunotherapy by capitalizing on the superior physicochemical prop- erties of nanocarriers, creating highly targeted tissue delivery systems. These advantageous features include a substantial specific surface area, which enhances the interaction with the immune system. In addition, the capability to finely modify surface chemistry enables the achievement of controlled and sustained release properties. These advances have significantly increased the potential of immunotherapy, making it more powerful than ever before. In this review, we introduce recent nanocarriers for application in cancer immuno- therapy based on strategies that target different main immune cells, including T cells, dendritic cells, natural killer cells, and tumor-associated macrophages. We also provide an overview of the role and significance of nanotechnology in cancer immunotherapy.

▷ Figure: Representative NPs for TAM modulation in cancer immunotherapy. A. Schematic illustration of cationic NPs (namely CNP/siCCR2) construction and its therapeutic effects, characterized by the disruption of monocyte recruitment from the peripheral bloodstream to tumor sites and a subsequent reduction in the number of TAMs. Reproduced with permission.