Review Article

Advanced biomaterials for cancer immunotherapy

Authors: Fan Yang1, Kun Shi1, Yan-peng Jia1, Ying Hao1, Jin-rong Peng1, Zhi-yong Qian1
1 State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy and Cancer Center, West China Hospital, West China Medical School, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China
Correspondence to: Zhi-yong Qian:,
DOI: 10.1038/s41401-020-0372-z
Received: 30 October 2019
Accepted: 27 January 2020
Advance online: 2 March 2020


Immunotherapy, as a powerful strategy for cancer treatment, has achieved tremendous efficacy in clinical trials. Despite these advancements, there is much to do in terms of enhancing therapeutic benefits and decreasing the side effects of cancer immunotherapy. Advanced nanobiomaterials, including liposomes, polymers, and silica, play a vital role in the codelivery of drugs and immunomodulators. These nanobiomaterial-based delivery systems could effectively promote antitumor immune responses and simultaneously reduce toxic adverse effects. Furthermore, nanobiomaterials may also combine with each other or with traditional drugs via different mechanisms, thus giving rise to more accurate and efficient tumor treatment. Here, an overview of the latest advancement in these nanobiomaterials used for cancer immunotherapy is given, describing outstanding systems, including lipid-based nanoparticles, polymer-based scaffolds or micelles, inorganic nanosystems, and others.
Keywords: cancer; immunotherapy; nanobiomaterials; nanoparticles; liposomes; micelles; hydrogel; microneedles; dendritic cells (DCs)

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