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Pharm Res. 2011 Feb;28(2):200-14. doi: 10.1007/s11095-010-0258-8. Epub 2010 Sep 4.

Cancer immunotherapy and nanomedicine.

Author information

1
Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics, Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1319 Kerr Hall, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.

Abstract

The immune system has the ability to recognize and kill pre-cancer and cancer cells. However, with the immune system's surveillance, the survival tumor cells learn how to escape the immune system after immunoselection. Cancer immunotherapy develops strategies to overcome these problems. Nanomedicine applications in cancer immunotherapy include the nanodiagnostics and nanobiopharmaceuticals. In cancer nanodiagnostics, it looks for specific "molecular signatures" in cancer cells or their microenvironment by using genomics and proteomics. Nanobiopharmaceuticals is the field that studies nanotechnology-based therapeutic agents and drug carriers. DNA, RNA, peptides, proteins and small molecules can all be used as cancer therapies when formulated in nanocarriers. Currently, cancer vaccines are applied in treatments with existing cancer or to prevent the development of cancer in certain high risk individuals. Most of the non-specific immune activation agents include adjuvants which enhance immunogenicity and accelerate and prolong the response of cancer vaccines. The carriers of vaccines, such as viruses and nanoparticles, have also been in clinical studies for many years. This review will discuss the relationships between the tumor and the immune system, and also will include topics covering the strategies used in eliminating tumors by using nanomedicine.

PMID:
20821040
DOI:
10.1007/s11095-010-0258-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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