Perspective | Published:

Designing nanomedicine for immuno-oncology

Nature Biomedical Engineering volume 1, Article number: 0029 (2017) | Download Citation

Abstract

Two major obstacles facing cancer nanomedicine are the tendency of nanoparticles to be taken up by normal tissues and organs and the nanoparticles' inability to efficiently penetrate solid tumours. Although substantial efforts have been made to improve the intratumoural delivery of nanotherapeutics, many strategies have failed to produce meaningful clinical benefits. Recent advances in the field of immuno-oncology have led to drugs that boost the host's own immune system to fight cancer. In contrast to conventional therapies, which often target cancer cells, immunotherapies stimulate immune cells in ways that promote their recognition and the eradication of tumours. In this Perspective, we posit that this approach represents a new framework for cancer nanomedicine, and that immune-targeted nanomedicines could generate tumouricidal effects without the need to overcome the pathophysiological barriers that are intrinsic to the tumour microenvironment and that hinder nanoparticle delivery. The rational design of new immuno-oncology nanomedicines provides opportunities for developing the next generation of nanotherapeutics for cancer patients.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by The Jorge and Leslie Bacardi Fund for the study of Regenerative Medicine (to B.Y.S.K.), the Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine (to B.Y.S.K.), the James C. and Sara K. Kennedy Award (to B.Y.S.K.), the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine Gerstner Family Award (to B.Y.S.K.), the JLG Brain Cancer Foundation and Richard D. and Darlene R. DeMars Award (to B.Y.S.K.), the Strawn Family Development Award (to B.Y.S.K.), the Helene Houle Career Development Award in Neurologic Surgery Research (to B.Y.S.K.) and the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Center Support (Core) Grant CA016672 (to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center). The authors thank C. Wogan of the MD Anderson Cancer Center's Division of Radiation Oncology for editorial assistance.

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.

    • Wen Jiang
  2. Department of Neurosurgery, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, 4500 San Pablo Road, Jacksonville, Florida 32224, USA.

    • Christina A. von Roemeling
    • , Yuanxin Chen
    • , Yaqing Qie
    • , Xiujie Liu
    •  & Betty Y. S. Kim
  3. Department of Cancer Biology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, 4500 San Pablo Road, Jacksonville, Florida 32224, USA.

    • Christina A. von Roemeling
    • , Yuanxin Chen
    • , Yaqing Qie
    • , Xiujie Liu
    •  & Betty Y. S. Kim
  4. Department of Neuroscience, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, 4500 San Pablo Road, Jacksonville, Florida 32224, USA.

    • Christina A. von Roemeling
    • , Yuanxin Chen
    • , Yaqing Qie
    • , Xiujie Liu
    •  & Betty Y. S. Kim
  5. Koch Institute for Integrated Cancer Research and Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.

    • Jianzhu Chen

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Contributions

W.J., J.C. and B.Y.S.K. conceived the work. W.J., C.A.V. and Y.C. carried out the literature search. W.J. and Y.Q. designed and generated the figures. All authors contributed to writing the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Wen Jiang or Betty Y. S. Kim.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/s41551-017-0029

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