Combinations of chemo-, immuno-, and gene therapies using nanocarriers as a multifunctional drug platform

Caroline Hopkins, Kaila Javius-Jones, Yixin Wang, Heejoo Hong, Quanyin Hu, Seungpyo Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: Cancer immunotherapies have created a new generation of therapeutics to employ the immune system to attack cancer cells. However, these therapies are typically based on biologics that are nonspecific and often exhibit poor tumor penetration and dose-limiting toxicities. Nanocarriers allow the opportunity to overcome these barriers as they have the capabilities to direct immunomodulating drugs to tumor sites via passive and active targeting, decreasing potential adverse effects from nonspecific targeting. In addition, nanocarriers can be multifunctionalized to deliver multiple cancer therapeutics in a single drug platform, offering synergistic potential from co-delivery approaches. Areas covered: This review focuses on the delivery of cancer therapeutics using emerging nanocarriers to achieve synergistic results via co-delivery of immune-modulating components (i.e. chemotherapeutics, monoclonal antibodies, and genes). Expert opinion: Nanocarrier-mediated delivery of combinatorial immunotherapy creates the opportunity to fine-tune drug release while achieving superior tumor targeting and tumor cell death, compared to free drug counterparts. As these nanoplatforms are constantly improved upon, combinatorial immunotherapy will afford the greatest benefit to treat an array of tumor types while inhibiting cancer evasion pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1337-1349
Number of pages13
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Delivery
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was partially supported by National Science Foundation (NSF) under grant # DMR-1808251 and 2211932. The authors also acknowledge the partial support from NCI/NIH under grant # 1R01CA260140, the Wisconsin Head & Neck Cancer SPORE Grant from NIH [P50-DE026787], The Falk Medical Research Trust–Catalyst and Transformational Awards Program, and Milton J. Henrichs Chair Funds provided to S Hong. In addition, Q Hu acknowledges the start-up package support from University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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