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Combination Cancer Immunotherapy of Nanoparticle-Based Immunogenic Cell Death Inducers and Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

Authors Qi J, Jin F, Xu X, Du Y

Received 12 October 2020

Accepted for publication 7 January 2021

Published 22 February 2021 Volume 2021:16 Pages 1435—1456


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 12

Editor who approved publication: Dr Yan Shen

Jing Qi, Feiyang Jin, Xiaoling Xu, Yongzhong Du

Institute of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310058, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Yongzhong Du 866 Yu-Hang-Tang Road, Hangzhou, 310058, People’s Republic of China
Tel +86-571-88208435

Abstract: Cancer immunotherapy is a promising treatment strategy that aims to strengthen immune responses against cancer. However, the low immunogenicity of tumor cells and inhibition of effector T cells in the tumor immunosuppressive microenvironment remain two major challenges. Immunogenic cell death (ICD) inducers not only directly kill cancer cells but also increase the tumor immunogenicity and induce antitumor immune responses. Immune checkpoint inhibitors can alleviate the inhibition of immune cells. Significantly, the combination of ICD inducers and immune checkpoint inhibitors elicits a remarkable antitumor effect. Nanoparticles confer the ability to modulate systemic biodistribution and achieve targeted accumulation of administered therapeutic agents, thereby facilitating the clinical translation of immunotherapies based on ICD inducers in a safe and effective manner. In this review, we summarize the nanoparticle-based chemical and physical cues that induce effective tumor ICD and elicit an antitumor immune response. In particular, combination of ICD inducers with immune checkpoint inhibitors can further reverse immunosuppression and prevent tumor metastasis and recurrence. An overview of the future challenges and prospects is also provided.

Keywords: tumor immunotherapy, immunogenic cell death, nanoparticles, immune checkpoint inhibitors

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