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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Computer Science Applications