October 7, 2019

James Moon, PhD, John G. Searle Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, with fellow Pharmacy staff Jutaek Nam, PhD, Chemist Senior, and Sejin Son, Assistant Research Scientist, examined cancer immunotherapy aimed at training the host immune cells to search and destroy tumor cells in their review paper published in Nature Reviews Materials. “Cancer immunotherapy is revolutionizing oncology,” explains Dr. Moon. “However, dose-limiting toxicities and low patient response rates remain major challenges in the clinic. For example, clinical data suggest that only a fraction (generally 10-30% response rates) of patients respond to immune checkpoint blockers.”

“Cancer nanomedicine in combination with immunotherapies offer the potential to amplify anti-tumor immune responses and to sensitize tumors to immunotherapies in a safe and effective manner,” continues Dr. Moon. “In our recent paper, we discuss new opportunities for combination immunotherapy based on nanoparticle platforms designed for chemotherapy, photothermal therapy, photodynamic therapy, radiotherapy and gene therapy. We highlight how nanoparticles can be used to reprogram the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment and to trigger systemic anti-tumor immunity, synergizing with immunotherapies against advanced cancer. Finally, we discuss strategies to improve tumor and immune cell targeting while minimizing toxicity and immune-related adverse events.”

Read "Cancer nanomedicine for combination cancer immunotherapy" on Nature Review Material's website