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Pharm Res. 2011 Feb;28(2):215-36. doi: 10.1007/s11095-010-0241-4. Epub 2010 Aug 19.

Nanoparticle delivery systems in cancer vaccines.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences & Experimental Therapeutics College of Pharmacy, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA.


Therapeutic strategies that involve the manipulation of the host's immune system are gaining momentum in cancer research. Antigen-loaded nanocarriers are capable of being actively taken up by antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and have shown promising potential in cancer immunotherapy by initiating a strong immunostimulatory cascade that results in potent antigen-specific immune responses against the cancer. Such carrier systems offer versatility in that they can simultaneously co-deliver adjuvants with the antigens to enhance APC activation and maturation. Furthermore, modifying the surface properties of these nanocarriers affords active targeting properties to APCs and/or enhanced accumulation in solid tumors. Here, we review some recent advances in these colloidal and particulate nanoscale systems designed for cancer immunotherapy and the potential for these systems to translate into clinical cancer vaccines.

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