Considerations for designing preclinical cancer immune nanomedicine studies

Wen Jiang, Yifan Wang, Jennifer A. Wargo, Frederick F. Lang, Betty Y.S. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Immunotherapy is known to be clinically beneficial for cancer patients and in many cases represents the new standard of care. Because of this success, the interest in integrating nanomedicine with cancer immunotherapy to further improve clinical response and toxicity profiles has grown. However, unlike conventional systemic therapies, which are directly cytotoxic to tumour cells, cancer immunotherapy relies on the host’s immune system to generate tumouricidal effects. As such, proper design of cancer immune nanomedicine requires scrutiny of tumours’ intrinsic and extrinsic factors that may impact host antitumour immunity. Here, we highlight key parameters that differentiate cancer immunotherapy from conventional cytotoxic agents, and we discuss their implications for designing preclinical cancer immune nanomedicine studies. We emphasize that these factors, including intratumoural genomic heterogeneity, commensal diversity, sexual dimorphism and biological ageing, which were largely ignored in traditional cancer nanomedicine experiments, should be carefully considered and incorporated into cancer immune nanomedicine investigations given their critical involvement in shaping the body’s antitumour immune responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-15
Number of pages10
JournalNature Nanotechnology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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