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Nanomedicine and cancer immunotherapy: focus on indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase inhibitors

Authors Zulfiqar B, Mahroo A, Nasir K, Farooq RK, Jalal N, Rashid MU, Asghar K

Received 9 August 2016

Accepted for publication 2 December 2016

Published 21 January 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 463—476


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Dr Faris Farassati

Bilal Zulfiqar,1 Amnah Mahroo,1 Kaenat Nasir,1 Rai Khalid Farooq,2 Nasir Jalal,3 Muhammad Usman Rashid,4 Kashif Asghar1,4

1Healthcare Biotechnology Department, Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences (ASAB), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, 2Department of Physiology, Army Medical College, National University of Medical Sciences, Rawalpindi, Pakistan; 3Department of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, Health Sciences Platform, Tianjin University, Tianjin, People’s Republic of China; 4Basic Sciences Research, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (SKMCH&RC), Lahore, Pakistan

Abstract: Nanomedicine application in cancer immunotherapy is currently one of the most challenging areas in cancer therapeutic intervention. Innovative solutions have been provided by nanotechnology to deliver cytotoxic agents to the cancer cells partially affecting the healthy cells of the body during the process. Nanoparticle-based drug delivery is an emerging approach to stimulate the immune responses against cancer. The inhibition of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) is a pivotal area of research in cancer immunotherapy. IDO is a heme-containing immunosuppressive enzyme, which is responsible for the degradation of tryptophan while increasing the concentration of kynurenine metabolites. Various preclinical studies showed that IDO inhibition in certain diseases may result in significant therapeutic effects. Here, we provide a review of the natural and synthetic inhibitors of IDO. These inhibitors are classified according to their source, inhibitory concentrations, the chemical structure, and the mechanism of action. Tumor-targeted chemotherapy is an advanced technique and has more advantages as compared to the conventional chemotherapy. Search for more efficient and less toxic nanoparticles in conjunction with compounds to inhibit IDO is still an area of interest for several research groups worldwide, especially revealing to be an extensive and a promising area in cancer therapeutic innovations.

Keywords: indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase, natural inhibitors of IDO, synthetic inhibitors of IDO, nanomedicine, cancer therapeutics

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