Background: Rapid advancement over the past few decades in cancer immunotherapy provides life-saving options for cancer patients. However, commonly used strategies including small molecules and various biomacromolecule-based therapeutics suffer from serious off-target toxicity and a lack of stability in the circulation.
Objective: To overcome these problems, various nanoparticulate delivery systems have been developed to achieve controlled and sustained drug release, improved stability and pharmacokinetic profiles, and tumor specificity to reduce off-target adverse effects.
Method: We reviewed representative studies on multiple nanoparticulate platform systems for delivering therapeutics in cancer immunotherapy, and discussed the advances and perspectives for the future development of novel therapeutics in cancer immunotherapy.
Results and Perspectives: Nanoparticles for the controlled delivery of immune modulating agents represents a viable approach in cancer immunotherapy. Besides seeking novel carrier systems or new materials, efforts need to be contributed to delineating the impact of intrinsic properties of nanoparticles such as material composition, morphology, size distribution, charge, and stiffness in manipulating immune responses in cancer therapy.
Keywords: Cancer immunotherapy, dendritic cells, immunosuppression, macrophages, nanoparticles, tumor microenvironment, vaccine.