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Nanoparticles: Properties And Applications In Cancer Immunotherapy

Alessandra Iscaro, Nutter F. Howard, Munitta Muthana

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Background:: Tumours are no longer regarded as isolated masses of aberrantly proliferating epithelial cells. Rather, their properties depend on complex interactions between epithelial cancer cells and the surrounding stromal compartment within the tumour microenvironment. In particular, leukocyte infiltration plays a role in controlling tumour development and is now considered one of the hallmarks of cancer. Thus, in the last few years, immunotherapy has become a promising strategy to fight cancer, as its goal is to reprogram or activate antitumour immunity to kill tumour cells, without damaging the normal cells and provide long-lasting results where other therapies fail. However, the immune-related adverse events due to the low specificity in tumour cell targeting, strongly limit immunotherapy efficacy. In this regard, nanomedicine offers a platform for the delivery of different immunotherapeutic agents specifically to the tumour site, thus increasing efficacy and reducing toxicity. Indeed, playing with different material types, several nanoparticles can be formulated with different shape, charge, size and surface chemical modifications making them the most promising platform for biomedical applications. Aim:: In this review, we will summarize the different types of cancer immunotherapy currently in clinical trials or already approved for cancer treatment. Then, we will focus on the most recent promising strategies to deliver immunotherapies directly to the tumour site using nanoparticles. Conclusions:: Nanomedicine seems to be a promising approach to improve the efficacy of cancer immunotherapy. However, additional investigations are needed to minimize the variables in the production processes in order to make nanoparticles suitable for clinical use.