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Immunotherapy. 2012 Apr;4(4):425-41. doi: 10.2217/imt.12.26.

Particle-mediated delivery of cytokines for immunotherapy.

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  • 1Department of Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.


The ability of cytokines to direct the immune response to vaccination, infection and tumors has motivated their use in therapy to augment or shape immunity. To avoid toxic side effects associated with systemic cytokine administration, several approaches have been developed using particle-encapsulated cytokines to deliver this cargo to specific cell types and tissues. Initial work used cytokine-loaded particles to deliver proinflammatory cytokines to phagocytes to enhance antimicrobial and antitumor responses. These particles have also been used to create a cytokine depot at a local site to supplement prophylactic or antitumor vaccines or injected directly into solid tumors to activate immune cells to eliminate established tumors. Finally, recent advances have revealed that paracrine delivery of cytokines directly to T cells has the potential to enhance T-cell mediated therapies. The studies reviewed here highlight the progress in the last 30 years that has established the potential of particle-mediated cytokine immunotherapy.

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