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Curr Med Chem. 2019 Jun 18. doi: 10.2174/0929867326666190618161610. [Epub ahead of print]

Nanomedicine-combined immunotherapy for cancer.

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Institute of Translational Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Macau, Taipa, Macao SAR. China.



Immunotherapy for cancer includes chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cells, CAR-natural killer (NK) cells, PD1 and the PD-L1 inhibitor However, the proportion of patients who respond to cancer immunotherapy is not satisfactory. Concurrently, nanotechnology has experienced a revolution in cancer diagnosis and therapy. There are few clinically approved nanoparticles that can selectively bind and target cancer cells and incorporate molecules, although many therapeutic nanocarriers have been approved for clinical use. There are no systematic reviews outlining how nanomedicine and immunotherapy are used in combination to treat cancer.


This review aims to illustrate how nanomedicine and immunotherapy can be used for cancer treatment to overcome the limitations of the low proportion of patients who respond to cancer immunotherapy and the rarity of nanomaterials in clinical use.


A literature review of MEDLINE, PubMed / PubMed Central and Google Scholar was performed. We performed a structured search of literature reviews on nanoparticle drug-delivery systems, which included photodynamic therapy, photothermal therapy, photoacoustic therapy and immunotherapy for cancer. Moreover, we detailed the advantages and disadvantages of the various nanoparticles incorporated with molecules to discuss the challenges and solutions associated with cancer treatment.


This review identified the advantages and disadvantages associated with improving health care and outcomes. The findings of this review confirmed the importance of nanomedicine-combined immunotherapy for improving the efficacy of cancer treatment. It may become a new way to develop novel cancer therapeutics using nanomaterials to achieve synergistic anticancer immunity.


CAR-NK cells; Cancer immunotherapy; drug delivery; nanomedicine; synergistic effect

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